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What support is available for you in hospital if you lose your baby

What support is available for you in hospital if you lose your baby

Welcome to another ‘Meet the Makers’ episode where we chat to Louise Zeniou from Cradle. When we spoke to Louise, she had been having a busy few days with various media interviews, and in-between her busy schedule she managed to sneak in an interview with us whilst sat on the floor outside the toilets in Pret!

Louise has a personal experience of what it feels like to go through early pregnancy loss when she became ill and diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy. As she was so ill, she was rushed into hospital and had surgery immediately. She talks about the amazing care she received, but after surgery she missed the most basic of items such as a toothbrush and a hairbrush.

The Comfort Bag

From her own experience Louise started the Comfort Bag Project with the aim to support hospitals, so that in those early moments of pregnancy loss women and men can be provided with toiletries and other products to give them a little comfort and importantly dignity. In the bag Louise also includes a personal message to give immediate words of comfort following a loss and the ways bereaved parents can connect for support once they have been discharged from hospital.

How Cradle Supports the NHS

Cradle provides Comfort Bags to various hospitals across the country and it’s growing! From just starting out as one, Louise now has 73 volunteer ambassadors. Cradle also work with Hospital Trusts as the patient voice to help in the development of services and projects for bereaved parents.


The role of Cradle is also to signpost to various support and counselling services to offer parents much needed professional support.

Want to get involved?

Contact Louise for information on how you can become an ambassador for Cradle.



The Fertility Podcast


Kate Davies 


Read Full Transcript

I wasn’t overnight but had nothing with me because I was rushed in and an ambulance and I woke up from the theater God, I just wanted to brush my teeth. But you know, my hair was matted and I just wanted to feel and almost like take control of just like God, I feel awful emotional sort of brush my hair, I want to feel a bit better.

That’s today’s guest Louise, whose company cradle makes comfort bags for you to have in hospital if you’re there. Sadly due to pregnancy loss. She’ll talk about her own experience and how the bags are helping give a bit of comfort to men and women finding themselves in this really sad place in hospital. She also offers advice on waking gain support and counseling, as well. If this episode isn’t quite what you’re looking for right now, we’ll totally get it and won’t be offended. There’s lots more that you can listen to from previous fertility podcast episodes. If you stay in with this, we really hope you find this useful. Okay, do you think there was people who were knocked down they’ll be brave enough to do more things like home testing.

I think being in lockdown is an ideal time to do more home testing because when you’re in knocked down, you’re kind of in limbo, you don’t really have the option to do very much. But actually what you can do with home testing is find out so much about your fertility, and whether you need to start making some changes to lifestyle.

And that’s why we’re really chuffed to have meditech sponsoring the fertility podcast because whether you’re trying to get healthy before getting pregnant, or investigating why you’ve not been getting pregnant meditech has a range of simple home blood tests developed with Kate to help you visit to find out more.

this area’s from the fertility podcast is talking about miscarriage.

With staggering numbers of people affected daily by this, there’s still a silence around it, feelings of shame. Along with the grief there was the physical impact of loss. And we wanted to explore this further over the coming weeks with a number of conversations from experts as well as people who have been through it.

Unfortunately, there are so many reasons why miscarriage happens. Whether it be genetic or percenter problems in fact, action or long term health conditions you may suffer from, or sometimes we just don’t know. We hope that by talking about it in this way, you will know that there is support and guidance available for you from groups, experts and organizations.

To find out more about the support available, visit the fertility podcast comm forward slash miscarriage where there will be listening to the range of organizations available, as well as all of these episodes. Welcome to another meet the makers episode of the fertility podcast. This is where we try to highlight the good that comes out of the bad I suppose and as our next guest actually, so amazingly said the purpose from the pain we’re going to be speaking to Louisa new, who has created something called cradle and Kate Did you find Louise?

I did. I found her on LinkedIn. Yes, and was just like, Oh, really interested in this. I’ve not heard about it. I thought this sounds really innovative. She was also doing a lot of work with hospitals and other organizations. I thought this is something that we need to find out a bit more about.

So Louise will explain but in essence having gone through her own pregnancy loss, she has created this brilliant care package, a comfort bag that men and women get in hospital, that moment where it all goes wrong and they need they need a toothbrush, or a hairbrush. So here she is to tell us more about what she’s doing.

In 2015, I got married in January and we wanted to try for baby very quickly. I think I was like this for first five now and I knew I wanted a baby and I’d had a coil for 10 years, but of course I went to the appointment to have my coil removed. And then I had a six week period, which I thought was a period and actually it wasn’t I must have got pregnant within two days of having the coil out. And it wasn’t it was an ectopic pregnancy. My husband said to me, you’re not well, and I was like, I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong with me at all. You know, he says, method, you need to burn 111 or we need to go to a hospital. I was like, No, I’m fine. So I found 111 to appease him. And they said, you know, go down to GP and call center because you’ve got bleeding. Anyway. So once they’re having assessment, and they said, You’re pregnant, I’m shocked. I don’t know why I was shocked. It’s almost like I couldn’t believe my body had actually worked in the way that I wanted it to. But I knew very quickly, obviously, that it wasn’t gonna be okay, fast forward three weeks with lots of blood tests and everything. And I was home alone on the sofa, and I collapsed, and I stood up and I collapsed and I stood up and I collapse and I remember panicking, and this feeling that genuinely I thought I was gonna die. I was on my own heroin rendus it was like a scene out of an awful movie because in my mind, I needed to find my mobile phone to call the ambulance. My phone was on charge in another room and every time I fell over have to you know, regain consciousness and stand up and then I remember getting my phone and literally just as I picked it up I clicked on Mr. claps again and then I woke up on the floor and I could just see my phone and slid right under the bed. So it was awful but I’m telling you this because this is part of the trauma that topic pregnancy is not just pregnancy loss, it’s the way that you lose your baby and the thoughts and feelings that lead up before even you get medical care. I thought to myself I was gonna get my phone unlock the front door, I’m not going to die so manage to do that I’m getting came four hours later, you know emergency operation removed my baby is trapped in my left fallopian tubes. So I had baby removed with the tube and came around and had fantastic care the care I received to get hospital It was absolutely first class the compassion of everybody that looked after me was brilliant, very, very, very happy with with the care. I was in it the night but had nothing with me because I was rushed in and in an ambulance and I woke up from a theater I just wanted to brush my teeth but you know my hair was matted and I just wanted to feel an almost like take control of just like God I feel awful emotion or sort of brush my hair, I want to feel a bit better. But I didn’t want the husband’s leave me so I didn’t let it leave me so we didn’t have anything with me. So that’s why we’ve started the conflict back project so that in those moments, those early moments of early pregnancy loss, particularly when you’ve had medical or surgical management, we give women a man now to do men’s comfort bags as well. But give anybody who’s there in those moments, the opportunity to have dignity and just a little bit of comfort. But the most important thing in that bag, you know, because the bags to be useful. They are absolutely amazing. They’re filled with so many toys which is for so lucky that for example lush work with so lush, the bath bomb company, nationally donate products, all of our bags up and down the country. I think we’ve had hundreds of women and thousands now we’ve had thousands of products from them. But the most important thing in the back is the letter, the letter that I wrote. So obviously it’s a printed letter. It’s a leaflet and it’s different. difference you know, you’re not alone. We have been there you know, we understand how you’re feeling. Everything you feel and whatever you don’t feel is normal, you know if and when you are ready if you ever need us, we are here to support you, you know, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, here’s our groups. You know, here’s my email address because some people will not be on social media. Some people can’t bear to be on social media during, you know, pregnancy loss, or infertility. So the idea is, is that my objective is that before women and families are discharged from the NHS, that they will have our leaflet they are fine posted as part of the discharge process, so that they can access the peer support that we provide. But also once somebody contacts me, I will then understand where they live locally and then we will signpost to their local community in terms of support groups, you know, be it to the miscarriage association or bH to em sons, for example. Anywhere that there is pregnancy loss, baby loss support, we will make sure that people can Find those avenues. That’s the reason behind it really, why, why we’re doing what we’re doing.

That sounds like an amazing resource that women have just at the time that they really need it. What I’m also interested in asking you about is I’ve seen on your Instagram, some lovely photos of you visiting different hospitals, different organizations. Tell me a bit more about how do you support those organizations.

Okay, so it all started. I mean, if I’m honest with you, Craig actually began as a project called my ectopic pregnancy and it was only ever meant to be me, Louise, not an organization actually, not even my topic pregnancy, it was only ever meant to be me, giving 10 bucks to Ormskirk as a resource for Ormskirk for the gynecology Ward to take the pressure off the nurses. I put it on social media locally and said, you know, I’d like to know raise funds for 10 bags so that I can just give them to go to gynecology, and then very quickly, I think it was a Sunday morning. I put it on Instagram, and I think that’s seven women contacted me saying, Oh, I’d like to join the project or I can’t quite think I remember thinking this is really odd. I’m not looking for people. I just need like 10 shampoo. Basic. And very quickly, I realized that actually, why would I take 10 shampoos from a lady in Cornwall, for my long skirt bags? Why don’t we set it up so that she can do that for her local or chosen hospitals. So, what happened is, is that as women were contacting me, I was almost saying, well, this is how I’ve done it. Ormskirk, you know, I can help you do it your your chosen site. And then very, very quickly turned into we had the bags, we have the toiletries and then what we do is we go into the hospital. So you’ll see on Instagram, there are different ways that we do it. So for example, if a lady contacts me in Manchester, and says that she would like to work with a local hospital, for example, stepping Hill, we are we as an organization will make the relationship with Stephen Hale, if you haven’t got it already. Introduce the ambassador. explain the concept that we have, you know, and then USCIS never ever said no to us. In fact, the NHS is now asking for our support and asking for the service. So it’s we’re now actually trying to supply the demand, which is to help the health care professionals and take almost like not the pressure off them, but just support the continuity, bereavement care that they’re trying to really allow, obviously, we’ve got the guidelines now of national bereavement care pathway, I think it’s great that there is within the mpcp there is room that says that, you know, the NHS do need to work with small individual organizations or charities so we are being welcomed into that space. So all of the photos you see on social media are was going into the NHS, donating the bags, working with gynecology teams, working with the early loss teams, meeting their needs, asking the questions, you know, what do you need from our service? Because the thing is, is that for example, the service we provided with poor women’s is very different to the service we provide all together because Liverpool women’s is such a well established set up with the honeysuckle suite, which is fantastic, you know, but Ormskirk, you know, I work with a bereavement team and we’re building on those services and we put you know, we put a lot resource into it. We don’t advise on policy, but we give our opinion as brief parents in terms of what our experience was and what we think will work best. And in the interest of parents going through any type of baby loss really,

I just want to talk a bit, Louise about that kind of education piece once you’re in the different kind of trust in different hospitals because it’s amazing what you’re doing and that it’s going nationally, but some of the conversations that we’ve been having with women suffering miscarriages going through ectopic pregnancies, the bedside manner isn’t always what we hope it will be because of the pressure that that may be starting to render. And I just wonder how that’s going, you know, in that Yeah, in that work.

It’s interesting. So when I was discharged, when I had my occur, and I was charged from hospital, the best way that I can describe it is that the care was phenomenal. But the environment that I was choosing it was on a gynecology was I don’t think there was any were any reflection of baby loss. I’m confident that the way I left the hospital was in terms of Emotional understanding of what happened was probably very similar to having my appendix out that’s no reflection on the NHS it’s no reflection on the staff it’s about I wasn’t given almost the license to even think God my my baby was growing and it might you know almost like you know my body couldn’t catch up with it you know, I didn’t leave there feeling but my God my bit my baby’s dead I’m not gonna take my baby home. The great thing is, is that if you look within the NHS now is that the NHS and are providing so many study days for their early pregnancy loss staff where they can share case studies learn from each other? men always inviting parents to speak at these days. If, for example, I recently spoke at the Manchester, the pregnancy last Saturday, and that’s actually where I first presented cradle to a room of gynecologists, nurses, junior doctors, and snog refers and the feedback we had from that the following day was really, really good. And it gave us enough encouragement to know that the NHS do need our services. They do to infer trusts that we started with, just with just me in Ormskirk, I’ve now got a team of 73 volunteer ambassadors. That’s amazing. All of us have experienced early pregnancy loss including chemical pregnancy, Pregnancy of another location. miscarriages missed miscarriage, we’ve got a number of ladies that have had obviously difficult decisions to make where they’ve experienced termination, compassionate induction due to medical reasons where their children wouldn’t have survived, you know, after birth. That’s not an exclusive list. Obviously, we are aware of other types of early pregnancy loss, for example, motor pregnancy, and obviously, ladies that perhaps have had a diagnosis of cancer and obviously, how to terminate there’s so many different types of loss, but we’re all brought together you know, we are a family now and I knew within a within a month, how big crater was going to get and how big it is going to get and sort of I sort of set out my stall in terms of my objectives. My objective was particularly to be on sites in the NHS. So, I’m really, really pleased to say now that we’ve had confirmation that we now create all the sites at Ormskirk hospital as a service provision, which means I will be on site two days a week. They’ve got me a desk. I’m working towards a corner office. I’m not going to lie, but that could be

a few years and under you’re talking about a place that’s got you a desk considering you’re sat on the floor outside alone in practice doing this podcast

I know I know. I mean, I don’t Yeah, don’t don’t let the NHS know bucks. They won’t give they’ll take my

happy on the floor.

Literally, they’ll have me in the toilet downstairs. But no, but the great thing is and you know, the proposition that we’ve given to all workers because I work with their bereavement team anyway, so I work in collaboration with some different a mortuary neonatal gynecology that bereavement midwife and we work together to really look at as a hospital how we can almost bring continuity right across the trust in terms of you know, if experience you have on labor ward in a brief, sweet should mirror the experience you have on a gynecology was I’m so excited to say guiding Ward has just been remodeled. There is a bereavement room in the dining Ward there’s a bed for partner so dad or same sex partner or companion. And we’re plugging a lot of our resources into making that room you know, for I mean, the losses are up to 16 weeks in there. And it’s going to be you know, a very very difficult time and memory making environment we will have our backs in there we’ll make sure that our because we collaborate a lot with aching arms with for Louis with lots of smaller independent charities. And me personally, I make sure that I bring all of those other charities into whatever I’m working on to make sure that all of those things are available to brief parents if they want them. We don’t push these things on them, make sure that they are there really but with the on site work So what it means is that every Friday and every other Monday I will be on site in the NHS, the staff will be able to pop down and see me if they need a coffee, the nice ones for any case studies but more importantly, you know we’re there. So Friday is the guy nice to list and it means that I can be there. If any of the parents wants to talk to me at their bedside for a couple of minutes or they want to meet me the very welcome to. I’m not a counselor, I work in business development. I was just

about to ask about your kind of duty of care side because it’s definitely something that in, in my work during this podcast, I’m a former patient, might you and as the podcast has grown, and people have reached out more, there is that feeling that you want to do as much as you can. But obviously what you’re talking about is signposting people on to people that are qualified, aren’t you so

currently so at the moment, I signpost to so if we look at my particular hospital, I signposted as an amazing organization called lighthouses therapy services, who offer funded therapy during their baby last weekend’s it’s 16 hours therapy. So they’re fantastic. I did the retreat myself, it hugely helped me and so we make sure that we signpost any of our parents or grandparents to lighthouses and then we’re very fortunate in the northwest there’s a lot of counseling services with very short waiting lists which are funded or for a small donation. So I’m able to really signpost very quickly parents from Ormskirk, in Southport into those areas, and there’s a huge amount of help where we are,

what we’ll do is we’ll put links, of course, to you on the show notes. And we’ll make sure people have got your details and best of luck with what happens is it like you say, I mean, it’s just skyrocketed because of the need for it. And I think it’s amazing. And I’m sorry, that something, you know, so sad, led to something so great, but that’s what our meet the maker series is all about. It’s highlighting that I’ve done something as a result of something awful, something amazing come out of it,

we cross it, I mean, the White House therapy services, they clusters putting pain to purpose, and I think, you know, as much as it was the worst time of my life that I actually, you know, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t change it now. I don’t believe potentially that everything happens for a reason. But for me, it’s brought me to this and it’s brought me all of these amazing people that I’m very lucky to call family and, and it’s you know, I’ve met so many people doing this job and talking to you guys as well. So thank you so much for being interested. And, you know, we’d love to talk to you again next year, so that you can see terms of the growth and definitely we have massive plans so with them it’d be great to see see if they will happen really

great well I really really hope that the model that you started your local hospital is rolled out to other hospitals because it sounds amazing and just what women need so well done first getting as far as you’ve got it. Thank

you so much. I must say you know, the the everybody that works on cradle brings cradle to life this is not me, you know, the people on the ground that every single Ambassador that joins us on a on a daily basis now, they do the hard work and they And the beautiful thing is is that every cradle service looks different and each and every NHS just because it’s driven by different people with different personalities with different experiences and different reasons for doing what they’re doing so

and so Louise, if people are listening and they want to do what you said the lady in Cornwall, you know, when you first put this post up on Insta wants to get in touch, they can do that too and get your support assessment where they are great. Absolutely. So we anticipate

that we’re going to grow to about 200 ambassadors by this time next year,


if anybody would like to take cradle to their chosen hospital, if there’s a hospital or a site that’s close to somebody’s heart, they can contact me on Facebook or messenger on Instagram or on Twitter. And we can send information, we actually run the back office of cradle at the moment fully enough on Facebook. So we’ve got our groups on there and it’s all sort of it’s it’s running quite smoothly at the moment that we are putting in place now infrastructure. Our main goal, to be honest with you, and actually looking now at our in house counseling services, that’s what we’re going to be looking at for next year. So we’ve already got a team of counselors that are actually cradle ambassadors, they’re all studying and by next year, they’ll be qualified and then we will be funding their services in the NHS. So that’s that’s the overall plan to be able to offer an in house counseling function on site on the day that somebody leaves hospitals, so at least then they know who their counselor will be, but ultimate goal right. It’s really exciting. We’ll look

best of luck with it all. We will keep in touch Details of him get in touch with you so thank you for talking to us and you better go that low go and get yourself a brew. I’m gonna go get a coffee

All right, thank you so much lovely Daenerys thank you bye

wow that is a lady on a mission isn’t it?

100% not me that how dedicated is she talking to us outside a toilet in in a coffee shop? God love her.

Oh, share that picture. Thank you Louise so much. And as she was saying, you know she she is running a business alongside the work she’s doing for greater but massive ambitions. And we’ll put the details in the show notes if what she said struck a chord with you and like Louise said, if there’s a hospital near you that’s close to your heart and you would like to support them with these comfort bags then check out the show notes for this episode with all her details and do get in touch. As always, thank you for listening. Be sure to rate and review the podcast. It Your favorite podcast app and get in touch. You can follow me after the tea party

and me your fertility journey.

And if you are also a maker,

you’re someone who has been through something on your journey to parenthood, whether you’ve had success or not, but it has as a result created you to create something else to make something different that you want to do to help others. We’d love to hear from you. You can email us info at 30 thank you as always for your support, and until next time,

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