A blog by Gail Dobson-Burns, founder of Silent Footprints pregnancy and infant loss support group.
Silent Footprints provides peer support from people who have been there. The group supports anyone who has suffered pregnancy loss at any stage of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth, medical termination & infant loss and retrieve extra help, information and support should they need it.
I wanted to start the peer support group after volunteering with Jo, the founder at Always Another Way Cumbria Ltd., on the ‘I AM Project’ calendar to raise awareness of individuals differences and life experiences to help society be less judgemental. My photo for the month featured a picture of myself and my then 2-year-old son with 3 butterflies around us and the caption read ‘I am a mother of four – three in spirit, one in arms’. Following that I had many of Always Another Way’s service users approach me and open up about their own losses and felt that they could now reach out and talk about it after seeing the calendar put it out there. I had over the years helped friends through loss after my own experiences 5 and 4 years ago after miscarrying twins and an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in life saving emergency surgery and many surgeries after. I feel that myself and Jo running the group, we have already had a few members grow in their confidence, they know they have somewhere to turn to when they need to talk about their loss. Many people won’t talk to them about it out of fear that they are somehow reminding them about their loss but we are never reminded, it’s always there in our minds and knowing we can talk about our losses with like-minded people who have been through the same thing with cuppas and biscuits is very comforting.
“I attend the groups regularly after struggling to cope and come to terms with my own baby loss after carrying my child for 35 weeks and having medical problems I had to experience still birth. The trauma of it all still haunts me today and I still expect him to be here with me. Attending the group makes coping with it all a little bit easier” - Anonymous group member
“I struggled after being pregnant with twins and then losing one. There was no support at that time and nowhere to turn to. I only found my way to cope as I was a young mum with a newborn baby to look after. My child was then much older when a planned pregnancy ended in miscarriage which was devastating and even though it was long time later, there was still nowhere to go for support which is why I attend and support the group. It really helps meeting others and knowing I am not alone in my experience and grief” - Anonymous group member
The group meets weekly every Wednesday 10am – 11:30am at the 24 Wellness Club on the Sneckyeat Industrial Estate, Homewood Road, Hensingham giving a safe place to chat, meet others, build confidence with no judgement in a friendly & supportive place.
For more info call: Gail – 07825152936 or Jo – 07516319860
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org