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Losing a baby can be one of the hardest life experiences. Please accept our sympathy. Parents often tell us they feel a sense of disbelief, anger and hurt, as well as a mixture of so many other feelings. You may have many questions at this time: this information aims to answer some of them.
Book of Remembrance.
You may like to have your baby’s name written in the Book of Remembrance. There is one in the chapel at both the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH). Please ask a member of staff about how to make an entry, or contact the chaplaincy office at the hospital. There is no charge for making an entry. You do not need to be a churchgoer to have your baby’s name written in the Book of Remembrance.
Annual Memorial Service.
There are also memorial services held every year (there are two services at RSCH, one in June and one in December, and a winter service at PRH) for families to remember their babies who have died. You will be sent information about this nearer the time, unless you ask us not to do this. Many families find this helpful to come and some families come every year. However it is your own individual decision as to what you wish to do.
You will need to arrange a funeral with a Funeral Director of your choice. The Bereavement office will have a list of local funeral directors to help you if you wish. The funeral can take the form of a cremation or of a burial. The funeral director you approach will be able to help you with all the arrangements. Most funeral directors will not charge for a funeral. If you decide on a cremation however, you will need to check before you proceed. There may be costs if you want a burial and headstone and you will need to discuss this with the Funeral Director.
The funeral does not need to be a religious service – you can say goodbye in whatever way feels best for you. There may be certain pieces of music, poems or other readings that are special to you. The Funeral Director will be able to help. You may also find it helpful to talk to the hospital chaplain or to a minister you know
You will need to contact the Bereavement Office within 30 days of signing the Pregnancy Loss form. If we have not heard from either you or your funeral director by then, the hospital will arrange a cremation.
The hospital will arrange a cremation of your baby but there will be no service for you or others to attend and no ashes to collect.
Should you require any specific religious or cultural advice then this can be obtained from the Chaplaincy Department, see details below.
Royal Sussex County Hospital 01273 696955 extension 4144
Midwifery and Neonatal Care Centre Counsellor:
Royal Sussex County Hospital 01273 381210
Just Friends Support Group:
01273 696955 extension 4373/4
Counsellor, Morley Street: 01273 242091
SANDS – Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society:
National line: 0207 436 5881
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: April 2021
Review Date: January 2024