CORK University Maternity Hospital is holding its annual ecumenical Service of Remembrance for parents and families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss on Sunday, October 14th at 4pm, in a new location, the Sacred Heart Church, Western Road, Cork (across from AIB).
Parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby, as a result of a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant death are welcome to attend.
Now in its fourth year the service is a well established annual event with over 300 attending from all over Munster.
For some it is an occasion to mark a recent loss and for others it may have happened a long time ago when perhaps it was not formally commemorated at the time.
Last year a couple aged in their seventies reported having lost their daughter 32 years previously and this was their first chance to publicly gather to remember their little girl.
One of the hospital chaplains, Daniel Nuzum a member of the Pregnancy loss Team that organises the service, said, “The death of a baby before or after birth is a devastating experience for parents and family members.
“Our multi-denominational Service of Remembrance is an important part of our ongoing care and support when we as a hospital community gather with parents and families to remember your baby, to offer support and to comfort one-another during what is a very gentle and moving ceremony.
“During the service of readings and music there will be an opportunity to light a candle in memory of your baby, write an inscription in our Book of Remembrance and to spend some reflective time with others who share in your journey.”
According to Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician and lead clinician of the Pregnancy Loss services at CUMH, “Pregnancy loss has considerable impact on parents, physically, emotionally and spiritually, altering their health and social wellbeing, and also carries implications for the woman’s long-term health and future pregnancies.
“Our annual Service of Remembrance is an important and supportive experience for parents and families on their journey of bereavement.”
The Service of Remembrance is one just one aspect of an entire pregnancy loss service provided at CUMH by consultants, chaplains, bereavement midwives, social workers and administrative support.
A consultant led pregnancy loss clinic investigates the medical causes of pregnancy loss and provides information and support to parents who experience pregnancy loss. The focus is on addressing both the emotional and medical needs of bereaved families in a dedicated specialist setting. Counselling and all other emotional supports are also provided for families concerned.
For Marion Gabriel whose infant son Robbie was stillborn “attending the Service of Remembrance annually gives me and my husband Mark an opportunity to remember Robbie and publicly mark and honour him in the presence of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.
“The counselling, medical and emotional support provided to me and my family by the Pregnancy Loss Team at Cork University Maternity Hospital has helped us tremendously on our journey since Robbie’s death.”
Following the service parents are invited to join with hospital staff and other parents for light refreshments in the adjoining parish centre.
The service is being held on the eve of the International Day of Pregnancy Loss, which is marked in a number of countries worldwide.
Parents and families affected by pregnancy loss can contact Daniel Nuzum or other members of the Pregnancy Loss Team at 021 492 0500.