Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) will hold its annual service of remembrance for families who have experienced the death of a baby later this month.
The service is aimed at parents and families who have lost babies as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant death.
The multi-denominational service is now in its fifth year and everyone is welcome, irrespective of when the death occurred.
"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," the HSE South explained.
According to the hospitals' chaplain, Daniel Nuzum, the death of a baby, whether before or after birth, is a ‘devastating experience' for families.
"Our service 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," he said.
During the service of readings and music, people will be given an opportunity to light a candle in memory of their baby, write an inscription in a book of remembrance and to spend some time with others who have been through a similar experience.
This event is just one part of the pregnancy loss service provided by CUMH. A consultant-led clinic investigates the medical causes of the loss and provides information and support to affected parents. Counselling and other emotional supports are also provided.
"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," explained Dr Keelin O'Donoghue, consultant obstetrician and lead clinician of the pregnancy loss service at CUMH
This year's service will be held on Friday, October 11 in the Sacred Heart Church, Western Road, Cork at 7pm.
Parents and families affected by pregnancy loss can contact Daniel Nuzum or other members of the pregnancy loss team on (021) 492 0500.
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