A SCHEME to help mums cope with the grief of miscarriage is being extended to another North East hospital.
Wearside group 4Babybell has joined forces with Sweet Dreams Our Angels in providing free memory boxes after Mandy Muir, in-patient pain sister at South Tyneside Hospital, who has suffered four miscarriages, heard about it through a friend.
The 4Babybell memory boxes, which are already available at Sunderland Royal Hospital, contain a glass angel, a teddy bear, a candle, a blessing card, a baby name card and a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds.
The group was set up last year by Vicky Smith after she lost a baby when she was 13 weeks pregnant.
Vicky and partner Shaun Bell, of Red House, called their child Baby Bell because they did not know the sex.
Vicky, like Mandy, works for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and assembles the boxes herself with the help of a group of other women.
They cost £5 to put together and are supplied free to more than a dozen hospitals.
Vicky, who is now mum to Jacob Steven Bell, born in July, said: “If you lose your husband or wife, you’re a widower or a widow. If you lose your parents, you’re an orphan, but there’s no word to describe a parent who has lost a child.
“When you have a miscarriage you are grieving for the baby you wanted and the loss of all the dreams and hopes you had for that baby and many parents feel the need to have a permanent reminder to ensure their child is never forgotten.”
Mandy, of Boldon, who had two miscarriages at around six weeks, another at 10 weeks and one at 11 weeks, said: “I think it’s important that women who have miscarried and their families are given the opportunity to have one of the memory boxes to keep to acknowledge the babies they’ve lost.”
Mandy, who is married to Andrew and is mum to Megan, five, added: “In one way it is upsetting to look in it.
“But for me, it is also a source of comfort knowing my babies will always be remembered.”
For more go to www.4babybell.co.uk or www.sweetdreamsourangels.org.