A bereaved mum from Smethwick has shown her solidarity with families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss, by raising £2,000 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal, to bring a brand new, stand-alone bereavement centre brought to the hospital.

Lorraine Mann set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the £3.5 million appeal, after she sadly lost her baby boy, Leo, at the hospital, after experiencing a miscarriage.

Just months after their wedding earlier this year, Lorraine and her husband Sunny were elated to find that they were expecting. Lorraine settled into an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy, and at their 20-week-scan, the couple were thrilled to hear that their baby boy was doing well.

However, later Lorraine began to feel unwell with back pain and stomach cramps.  After calling NHS 111, Lorraine persevered but the cramps turned into contractions and she was admitted to triage. Midwives could see that Lorraine’s waters had broken and had to break the devastating news to her that she was having a miscarriage.  Lorraine was moved to the hospital’s bereavement maternity suite, the Abby Suite, to deliver baby Leo but sadly he had passed away.

Lorraine and Sunny held a small funeral for their baby boy, but in lieu of flowers they asked for donations to the Woodland House Appeal, imagining how their experience within the hospital may have been different had they had access to a space such as the one the new bereavement centre will create.

Lorraine said: “Losing Leo was an incredibly traumatic experience and we couldn’t have asked for better support from the midwives who got us through that awful time, especially during the pandemic too. We were so grateful to have some privacy in the Abby Suite, but it was so cutting for Sunny to see happy families and their babies in the corridors. Knowing Woodland House will be situated away from the main hospital, and have separate access, will be an incredible support to people in our situation, and make it less traumatic.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “Nothing we do will ever ease the heart-break of losing a precious baby but by bringing Woodland House to our hospital, we can create a space that recognises and honours that loss, and that will give families somewhere to grieve in private without constant reminders of what could have been.

“It’s our mission to create somewhere that will set a new standard of bereavement care nationally for families experiencing pregnancy or baby loss. We’re so grateful to Lorraine and Sunny for sharing their story and help raise such an incredible amount, which takes us a step closer to achieving our ambitions.”

If you would like to donate to our Woodland House Appeal please click here.