“We hope Poppy’s Fund continues to provide support to all families, so more babies make it home safe and well.”
11 October 2023
After a low-risk, straightforward pregnancy our first baby girl, Poppy, died and was subsequently stillborn. During this time, we received incredible care at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital over several days. In addition to amazing medical care, we were allocated a bereavement midwife who provided us with contacts for specialist counselling and helped us come to terms with our loss.
The experience was traumatic and life-altering, and losing Poppy changed everything for us. Instead of looking forward to bringing a new life into our home and lives, we were faced with an uncertain future and all the secondary losses that come when you lose a baby.
To honour Poppy’s memory and ensure that all babies and families continue to receive excellent care from the maternity services at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and St Mary’s Hospitals, we worked with Imperial Health Charity to set up Poppy’s Fund.
"Before Poppy died, we had no real experience of baby loss, but we’ve come to learn, sadly, how many families it affects."
The fund provides specialist equipment on the wards, counselling services for bereaved or traumatised parents, improvements to the hospitals' facilities and surroundings, and further training and education to help staff support families in challenging circumstances.
Before Poppy died, we had no real experience of baby loss, but we’ve come to learn, sadly, how many families it affects.
It’s amazing when we can help people like us through Poppy’s Fund - but it’s equally rewarding to be able to support parents and families who do get to take their precious baby home and to ensure they have the support they need.
Having been lucky enough to have two more children, we know that even small things like kits to test for jaundice at home and recliner chairs which enable partners to stay by the mother’s bedside, can make a huge difference.
Experiencing baby loss is a club no one wants to be in. It challenges you in so many ways - and the ways to cope and get through it are different for everyone.
The biggest thing that helped us was counselling, which we can’t recommend enough. It helped us to be kind to one another and respect that we are different people who grieve in different ways. We were lucky enough to access specialist counselling via the charity Petals, which we chose to continue for a long time.
We credit this with giving us a safe space to share thoughts and feelings we felt we couldn’t share elsewhere - and ultimately getting us through.
"We’re very proud of the impact her little life has had and we do all we can to honour her memory by supporting this important work."
Poppy will always be our first child. The one who made us a mummy and a daddy and even though time has passed she’s never ever far from our thoughts. The milestones she’s missing always hurt, but we’re also so grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to be involved in making a difference through Poppy’s Fund.
We’re very proud of the impact her little life has had and we do all we can to honour her memory by supporting this important work.
We hope that Poppy’s Fund will continue to provide support to all families, to ensure more babies make it home safe and well. The staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are incredible and we want to support them so they can continue to provide an outstanding level of care, whilst also looking after their own physical and emotional wellbeing.
Whilst we were in hospital, we were also made aware of Baby Loss Awareness Week, something we had never encountered before. Our friends got together and lit candles for Poppy and us and it was incredibly moving and comforting at a time of so much pain.
We continue to light a candle during Baby Loss Awareness Week, for her and all the other babies who didn’t make it home. Including those of other people we’ve met on this journey.
You can join us in lighting your own candle for little ones gone to soon this Baby Loss Awareness Week here.