Cwm Taf Morgannwg Heath Board says it's 'listening' to bereaved parents as funeral services launched

  • Jade Harries speaks about the butterfly garden and what it means to her

After a difficult few years, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Heath Board is beginning to rebuild its approach to maternity services and baby loss.

The health board's maternity services were placed into special measures in 2019, after a report found 'serious failings'.

It has become the first heath board to offer funeral services to bereaved parents.

At Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, a butterfly garden has opened.

It is somewhere families can go to remember loved ones.

Ms Harries has spoken about what the garden means to her.

Jade Harries' son, Mitchell, died two months ago. She lost him at 21 weeks of pregnancy.

She said that "every hour is different" and sometimes "it doesn't really seem real".

Ms Harries added: "We've got to take each day as it comes at the moment.

"My family are amazing. My mum always says it's hard to watch her daughter do through this, and my husband it's hard for him, and our son, he's lost his brother too.

"It's a lovely place to come. My son can come and lay flowers and at least then he feels that he can carry on talking about it because it's just so important."

The Butterfly Garden is a place that families can go to and remember their loved ones.

The garden features a 'Postbox to Heaven', where older siblings can post letters or drawings to the baby brothers and sisters they lost.

Ms Harries set up a charity in her son's memory, packing essentials for pregnant women who have to go into hospital, unexpectedly.

She said: "The first ten packs we made from selling Mitchell's clothes. We've raised nearly £1500. I've had amazing donations.

"It's just all the basic essentials that a woman might need if they're admitted to the hospital and are going to deliver their baby too soon."

It is the first health board to offer funeral services to bereaved parents.

Kevin helped to landscape the butterfly garden. He lost his own son, Simon. He would have been 49-years-old on Friday.

"He was born at five past four and he died at seven o-clock.

"They just said he was a fighter but he passed away. I've got two other sons and daughters but to us, Simon was a special son."

Donna Walker, Bereavement Clinical Lead at Cwm Tag Morgannwg University Health Board said: "Regardless of whether they were pregnant for a short time or a long time, we want them to know that their pregnancy really matters.

"We give them a full funeral service, with an order of service, and just to be there with them I think and to give them that outlet for grief during the most horrendous time."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…