There’s help if you have lost a child

A Generic Photo of a mother mourning the death of her baby
A Generic Photo of a mother mourning the death of her baby
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LOSING a baby is difficult at any time, particularly over Christmas.

LOSING a baby is difficult at any time, particularly over Christmas.

And parents on the Fylde coast, who have been through such grief, may have had terrible memories brought back by the recent harrowing cot death storyline in Eastenders.

More than 6,000 complaints have been made nationally about the soap over the last few weeks, in which Ronnie Mitchell (right), played by Samantha Womack, lost her baby James and swapped him for Kat and Alfie Moon’s newborn son Tommy.

Parenting wesbite Mums-net wrote to BBC director general, Mark Thompson, branding the storyline cynical and ill-informed and likely to reinforce misconceptions about bereaved mothers as “deranged and unhinged”.

The BBC defended the plot, saying it was “absolutely not suggesting this behaviour is typical of a mother who has suffered such a terrible and tragic loss”, but decided to cut the story short.

And local parents are being reminded help is there if they are grieving, or if the show stirred memories of past loss.

Blackpool bereavement counsellor Michelle Boland (below) said: “Television can be so powerful and parents who have lost children or babies can feel compelled to watch.

“For anyone who has suffered a bereavement of a child, watching such a storyline will bring it back to them.

“Perhaps it’s the fact they feel some sort of connection with the person or character who is going through the same situation.

“For anyone to lose a baby or a child, is terrible – whether through cot death or any other way – and Christmas time or New Year can be just awful.”

Michelle, who works with bereaved families from Blackpool, is co-ordinates the Snowdrop Child Bereavement Support Centre, and works with Donna’s Dream House, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and NHS Blackpool, and her colleague Megan Murray, bereavement nurse based at The Vic.

She said: “There is help and support for parents who have lost a baby or child. There are organisations like SANDS, which has a befriending system. Parents can sometimes feel they will never get through it, but help is there.”

Visit www.uksands.org or call the helpline on 020 7436 5881.