Working to create a garden, at Southland Hospital, for whanau to remember those babies lost too soon.
Each year in Southland Maternity Unit, over 1000 babies are welcomed into the world. We are privileged to see whanau grow in size and love each day.
As maternity staff in New Zealand, there is a much sadder part to our role; 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy, and around 300 babies are stillborn each year after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 1 in 500 women will experience a late stillbirth, after 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Across the world research continues into the causes of miscarriage and stillbirth, and each year we are able to advise women how to reduce the risk even more.
As a maternity unit, we recognise that the effects of miscarriage and stillbirth can be lifelong; it does not stop when women are discharged from our care. Whilst support in the community is available, we wanted to acknowledge the women and whanau affected by pregnancy and infant loss, to let them know that we think of them often and that their baby will never be forgotten.
Our plan is to create a quite space, within the hospital grounds, where wahine and their whanau can come to remember their baby, no matter the gestation their baby was, or the time since their loss. We hope to place a bench in this space along with some flowering cherry trees, which should be in blossom during October, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
We aim to have the garden completed in time for a Wave of Light event on 15th October 2021, where those affected by pregnancy or infant loss will be invited to collectively remember all babies who have been lost too soon. We also hope to raise enough funds to purchase a digital camera, printer and memory cards. This will allow us to capture special moments, that a family can treasure forever.
Donations will go towards the cost of trees, plants, concrete pad and a bench for the Memory Garden. Any surplus funds will be put towards additional resources and equipment to support bereaved families on the Maternity Unit, and for the provision of memory boxes.
This is a maternity ward initiative and is not directly associated with DHB employment. Funds will be placed into a private bank account, not associated with the DHB.
Placement of a concrete pad and bench, purchasing of trees and plants for a garden area, camera and memory cards for use on maternity. Surplus funds will be spent on extra resources to support families.