Category: Doctors and Consultants

The Importance of Supporting Baby Loss Awareness

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supporting baby loss awareness

October 9th -15th plays host to baby loss awareness week. Our whole team here at The Surrey Park Clinic would like to take this opportunity to talk about the importance of supporting those affected by stillbirth and any other devastating event early in an infant’s life.

This includes parents who have lost a child, as well as their families, friends and people close to them who did or would have played an important part in their lives. It is important for everyone to understand why we are supporting baby loss awareness week and how the events and educational opportunities surrounding it can help families in need.

We also understand that talking about such a traumatic event can seem impossible. But while it’s ok to take time to grieve, we also want to be part of the group breaking that silence. It shouldn’t be something people feel they can’t talk about – but be an open conversation for when they are ready.

That’s why we will be sharing stories, information and advice throughout our clinic, social media channels and our blog – encouraging others to speak out and ask for support in these dark times.

What Is Baby Loss Awareness Week?

We are taking part in an annual event that serves the purpose of breaking the silence surrounding this topic and allowing people all over to come together to remember babies who have died and to show their support for families who have been affected.

The Surrey Park Clinic has always worked to become a safe space for everyone. Patients, staff, visitors and everyone in between are our biggest priorities. However, creating this safe space may have started with the clinic, but that is not where it ends.

Conversations supporting baby loss awareness week are being had on social media, via email, over the phone and at our events.

Having the confidence to speak up, ask for help, resources and advice means being able to do so via a platform that makes you feel comfortable. We understand that face-to-face conversations may not be possible for some.

That’s why we have worked to build our online community as well – offering the chance to engage with our posts, Q&As and much more when finding the immediate words is just too difficult. The more we can get other businesses as well as people like you doing the same – the bigger and better the space is going to be for people struggling.

How To Get Involved

There are a number of ways that you can get involved with supporting baby loss awareness week. We have a few ideas below, but remember this is your time to break the silence in a way that feels right for you.

Wave Of Light

If you’ve been following the event for a while, you may be aware of the wave of light campaign. People all over the country take part by lighting a candle at 19:00 on the 15th of October and leaving it burning for at least an hour.

The act serves as a way to remember all of the babies that have passed away and their families. The continuous wave of light represents how our love for these babies never fades and how they will always be in our hearts.

supporting baby loss awareness

You can get involved by sharing a photo of your candle on social media using the hashtag #WaveOfLight. Or, you can of course take the time privately to reflect.

Pink & Blue

During the week, you will see a lot of social media posts using these colours as well as people wearing ribbons and bows.

These are the dedicated colours for supporting baby loss awareness and some businesses or local landmarks will even light up buildings in these colours to show their support – spreading the message as far as possible.

You can get involved by tying a pink or blue ribbon to your car antenna or handbag. Or, if you’re feeling crafty – make some to give out to friends, family and colleagues!

Take a walk around your local town during this week and see how many lights you can spot. We know that there will be a few around Guildford, so keep your eyes peeled!

Talk About It

This is probably the most important way that you can get involved. Break the silence surrounding baby loss by talking about it with those around you.

If someone close to you has been affected by baby loss, offer your support in any way you can. This might be by just being there to listen, giving them a hug or even attending events with them.

If you don’t know anyone who has been affected, start a conversation about it with friends or family. The more we talk about baby loss, the more normalised the topic will become – making it easier for those going through it to speak out.

Professional Training With SANDS

SANDS is a charity we’ve supported before at The Surrey Park Clinic. They are dedicated to supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, as well as working to improve the care and experience that bereaved parents receive.

As part of their work, they offer free professional training courses for those who want to learn more about supporting others through baby loss. The courses are open to anyone who works with bereaved parents or families, including but not limited to

– GPs

– Health Visitors

– Midwives

– Doulas

– Bereavement Counsellors/Support Workers

– Social Workers/Carers.

Our staff regularly undertake these training opportunities and many have commented on how enlightening they are. It gives us a different perspective to carry through our roles here at the clinic.

We’d highly recommend that anyone working in the industry has a go at these courses. They’re brilliantly put together and SANDS have even said:

“Over the years we have gathered evidence from parents, health professionals and researchers on how to safely support families when a baby dies and what can be done to save babies’ lives in the future. With this evidence, we’ve created a package of training and tools to help professionals offer the best possible care and support.”

Supporting Baby Loss Awareness: Treatments

Daily pressures, trauma, grief and life stage can, at times, make life particularly challenging. Sometimes we can work through these issues with the support of family and friends. However, there are times when many of us benefit from professional help to find ways to deal with challenging times or problems like baby loss.

We are lucky enough to be able to offer psychotherapy at the clinic and have a number of expert clinicians who can help work through grief, finding a way to break the silence that works for you.

If you are struggling and would like to talk to someone, please do not hesitate to get in touch. No parent enters a pregnancy expecting a loss and the consequences can be devastating. From self-blame and guilt to depression and suicidal thoughts – there comes a time when professional support and advice is needed to guide someone through.

Benefits of Psychotherapy

Firstly, it can be hard to deal with the stigma surrounding the topic. Many parents have gone through this heartbreak, only to find a dismissive friend, family member or even healthcare professional at the end of the phone.

Our clinicians’ first aim is to validate the feelings that come with grief. After that, supporting baby loss awareness is all about affirming your previous steps as well as the ones to come.

By doing so, we hope to leave people feeling more understanding of their individual situations and able to move forward in whatever way suits them. No matter how fast or slow.

As well as this, working with a professional can help avoid an overwhelming feeling or the need to move all at once. Approaching it in an informed manner will make any future actions more sustainable and hopefully, beneficial to you.

It’s not just about addressing your own feelings, but learning how to deal with those around you after an experience as traumatic as this. The world might not seem quite the same for a while and our clinicians are there to help you navigate that at your own pace.

Break The Silence

If you’re reading this and have experienced baby loss, we hope that knowing there are people here to talk to will help encourage you to break the silence.

We understand how difficult it can be and assure you that everyone’s experience is different. Our clinicians tailor their approach specifically to each individual they work with.

Similarly, if you’re close to someone going through a difficult time regarding losing a child, we hope that our blog, social media and other platforms offer the support you need to help them through it.

Baby Loss Awareness Week might not be something you feel comfortable discussing but at Surrey Park Clinic, we feel it’s important to support parents through this tough time however we can.

Why We Need To Break The Stigma Around Counselling & Therapy

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Counselling and therapy

Mental health has often been viewed as a taboo topic, and many people feel uncomfortable discussing it. This is especially true when it comes to counselling and therapy. There are many misconceptions about these services, and people often think that they are only for “crazy” people. This could not be further from the truth!

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of mental health support, and why we need to break the stigma around counselling and therapy.

Stigma Around Counselling (2)

First up, Mental Health is really important.

Mental health is an important part of our overall well-being.

Just like physical health, it is something that we should all take care of.

Unfortunately, mental health is often seen as a taboo topic, and many people feel uncomfortable discussing it. This is especially true when it comes to counselling and therapy.

Counselling and therapy can be extremely beneficial for everyone, not just those with mental illness. These services can help us to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, and much more. Counselling and therapy provide us with a safe space to explore our thoughts and feelings, and to work through our problems. They can also help us to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and to learn more about ourselves.

Breaking the stigma around counselling and therapy is important. By doing so, we can encourage more people to seek out these services, and to take care of their mental health. We need to normalise the idea of seeking professional help, and make it clear that there is nothing wrong with doing so. Counselling and therapy are vital tools that can help us to live happier, healthier lives.

Why do we feel so judged?

Therapists are human beings, too. It is natural for us to feel apprehensive about being observed and judged during therapy sessions. Feeling vulnerable may bring with it a slew of other emotions, including the sensation of being condemned for exposing ourselves. This is why many of us may avoid confessing to loved ones and friends that we’re going to therapy because we believe they’ll see it as a sign of weakness or that we’re being evaluated or don’t want to be seen as weak.

In actuality, we are the ones who are often in denial about our strengths because we have reached out for assistance and going to therapy is generating a more positive and healthy mentality for ourselves.

It may be helpful to increase our openness and honesty about seeking therapy and feel more confident in telling others and how it’s assisting us. It may be possible to reduce the stigma if we were more open and honest about going to therapy, felt braver in telling others, and how it helps us. It can definitely be difficult to feel at ease discussing psychotherapy with those around you because of the stigma. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who could benefit from therapy but don’t seek it out due to prejudice.

Here are 3 ways to help fight the mental health stigma

1. Don’t buy into the stigma.

You may feel that mental illness is a sign of weakness and that you or the individual dealing with it should be able to manage it on your own. You or others might treat themselves or one another harshly as a result of these ideas. Education, compassion, being caring to oneself and others, and finding support from people who suffer from mental illnesses can all aid in increasing positive self-esteem, perspective, and overcoming harsh judgment.

2. Choose empowerment over shame.

If you’re having trouble, accept your story and don’t let others persuade you otherwise. Encourage those seeking assistance and support by being encouraging. Be truthful with people around you. Let them see the real you by sharing your strengths, abilities, and objectives. Encourage those who are struggling to do so as well. Remember that how you behave and treat others may have an impact on others’ opinions of you and mental illness in general. In this process, be nice to yourself as well as others. Acceptance is a tough road that takes time to travel.

3. Actively speak up against mental health stigma.

Whether you’re speaking with a group of pals or in front of a large audience, exude confidence and assertiveness while expressing your views. To aid in the advancement of mental health awareness, encourage others to educate others respectfully about mental illness. Remind people that they wouldn’t make fun of someone who has heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Speaking up will not only educate the public and help reduce stigma, but it could also give courage to others facing a similar challenge.

Let’s start breaking the stigma today!

The Surrey Park Approach

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It’s never straightforward discovering that assisted conception is required, in order to have a family. The information available can be overwhelming and daunting and, at times, it’s difficult to even know where to begin. Infertility most certainly has a language of its own. There’s also an element of hopelessness and despair, when realising that future dreams are dependent on doctors, nurses and medical science, coupled together with a big pinch of luck.

With the NHS cutting the number of funded cycles and tightening the criteria for those eligible, infertile couples are often left stranded, required to find a clinic themselves and self-fund their treatment. With no real guidance, it’s incredibly easy to be misled by statistics, misguided by the false hope of add-ons and mistaken over what treatment options are available. The range of differing advice, plethora of myths and complex data, can mean patients are left utterly bewildered during what is already a confusing and complicated time.

Every person is unique, and each fertility situation is individual. Whether it’s male or female factor, both or unexplained, no two cases are, or should be considered, the same; one size does not fit all when it comes to fertility treatments. Whether it be an initial consultation, IUI, IVF or ICSI, it’s incredibly important to find a clinic which offers honesty, compassion and a tailormade service, for all its clients.

IVF is often billed as a magical cure. However, the sad truth is; in vitro fertilisation won’t work for everyone. It’s therefore only fair and ethical that clinics are transparent, truthfully presenting the reality of each situation. Clients are real people who deserve kindness and fairness as well as a professional service.

The Surrey Park clinic prides itself on offering a unique fertility experience. Its consultant led approach ensures that every patient is matched with a named consultant, who is accessible to them throughout the whole of their medical care. Treatment should not have to be delayed because a doctor is too busy to make a quick decision. Consultants scan and fully immerse themselves in every case, analysing results and being on hand to make any changes to protocols, no matter how small, believing that patients and their well-being must be at the core of all they do.

Whilst fertility data is regulated, by the HFEA, understanding what clinics report can be mind-boggling. Advertised success rates aren’t always as they first appear, for instance, becoming pregnant can be a very different situation to having a live birth. It’s also important to understand that patients are not just a statistic and simply because a woman is of a certain age, or a man has been diagnosed with a specific condition, doesn’t mean that the odds for a successful outcome are the same as another couple with similar circumstances. Surrey Park compassionately manages expectations, never being scared to give patients the whole picture, but providing them with an individual and personalised success rate. When it comes to infertility treatment, nothing should be a surprise and a clinic must be accountable; it needs to have done everything it possibly can, to try to achieve a positive result and tend to the well-being of each patient.

The Surrey Park Clinic team

IVF is tough. It’s invasive, uncomfortable and immensely time consuming, it can feel like a full-time job just trying to keep on top of the scans, tests and appointments required for each cycle. Patients should not have to be shoehorned into a clinic’s opening hours, or rushed along a treatment conveyor belt, just to suit the employees. At Surrey Park, staff do their utmost to fit in around an individual’s needs, treatment should be patient-led, and everyone has the right to flexibility in order to ensure as little stress as possible is experienced.

Infertility is often described as a battle and, at times, it’s not only a battle to conceive it’s also a fight for treatment and access to medical teams. Patients should never have to solely become their own advocates, pushing for consultations or changes to procedures and the right to try another option. Consultants and clients absolutely need to work together, and Surrey Park acknowledges that anyone, who walks through their door, is entitled to transparency, and all the information required to make informed decisions about any next steps.

Mothers speak of how they will do anything for their child, yet so will those desperately hoping to become a mother too, those of us living with infertility. We inject, we undergo surgery, heartbreak and grief. We change our lifestyles, wait and hope, all whilst maintaining the façade of a normal life, getting up each morning and going to work, fitting anguish and clinic appointments into our daily routines. And all for no guarantees, simply for hope, for chance and a dream come true.

Determination can only get an infertile so far but, combine willpower with science and a fully supportive clinic, offering thoughtful and individualised treatment, and that really does go a long way in helping to achieve a positive outcome. Patients have a right to the high level of support and honesty a professional, compassionate clinic, like Surrey Park, provides, under a team holding their best interests at heart.

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