A 'Garden of Serenity' has now been opened in the grounds of St Bernard's hospital, as a place of remembrance of babies who died during pregnancy or were stillborn.
At the inauguration this week, the Minister for Health, Neil Costa, said: “My ministry, the Gibraltar Health Association and midwives recognise that during this very emotional time in a family's life, it is very important that there is a private area where acknowledgment is given to all those infants who have passed. The midwives hope that the Garden of Serenity will, in some small way, help parents through an emotional and overwhelming time in their lives.”
The garden contains marble plinths to which plaques can be attached, giving details of the babies who were lost after 20 weeks' gestation.
The Garden of Serenity is part of an enhanced care plan for women using Gibraltar's maternity services. In addition to improving the care and facilities for pregnant women in general, the GHA identified a need for a better service for those who suffer miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
A designated private area within the maternity unit has been refurbished to allow women in this situation to receive appropriate investigation, care and holistic support during that difficult time. GHA midwives have also received additional training in this field.
After consulting with women who have had this experience, the GHA has produced comprehensive local information, which is accessible on the website.
There is also a dedicated book of remembrance for all pregnancy losses before 20 weeks, in the early pregnancy unit.