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Abigail’s Footsteps charity launches podcast series for Baby Loss Awareness Week

A couple have told of the despairing comments made by others after their baby girl was stillborn as they launch a hard-hitting podcast series to help other parents.

Jo and David Ward set up the charity Abigail’s Footsteps in 2010 following the death of their daughter at Medway Maritime Hospital at 41 weeks gestation.

At the time, they could only spend a couple of hours with their baby and were put in a room where they could hear other newborns crying.

The aims of the charity were to make sure no other parents experiencing the loss of a baby went through the same thing.

To mark this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week, A Journey With Abigail’s Footsteps hears from some of the mums and dads supported by the charity, along with medical professionals and celebrity fundraisers and supporters.

David and Jo Ward founded Abigail's Footsteps after the daughter was stillborn at Medway Maritime Hospital in 2009
David and Jo Ward founded Abigail's Footsteps after the daughter was stillborn at Medway Maritime Hospital in 2009

In the first episode, Abigail’s Footsteps - The journey so far, David reveals how some of the comments made to him and his wife following the death of their baby had a profound effect on them.

He said: “When you’re sat in a room surrounded by photographs of newborn babies to be told your baby’s passed away, when you’re told ‘don’t worry you can get pregnant’ - ‘don’t worry, at least you know you can have another one’ - all surreal things that I despair at when I hear now.

“A lot of the work we’ve done since that day was to ensure that we help midwives and care staff with what to say.

“People struggle with what to say around death anyway, and in difficult situations we always seem to make a hash of it, we always seem to trip ourselves up.

“So we’re very keen to express what you should and shouldn’t say. Time isn’t a healer, people don’t want to hear that rubbish. They’ve just lost a child, they want to know that child was the most important thing in everybody’s world and it’s important to understand that’.

As well as sharing his own heartbreaking story, David explains how the charity is continuing to support parents through counselling, bereavement suites and Abi cold cots - and healthcare professionals with specialist training.

A Journey with Abigail’s Footsteps is an IM Listening production.

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