NHS Logo
As One Logo

Information for service users

Baby Loss

Few experiences can compare to the trauma and pain of losing a baby. Your loss may have been in the early or late stages of pregnancy, after giving birth or after taking your baby home.

Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to grieve. After the loss you may initially feel shocked, numb, guilty, angry, afraid, and full of pain. These feelings may change to feelings of longing, sadness and loneliness and hopelessness about the future.

I miss the future I was supposed to have with you.

Grief is a natural and normal response to loss and these feelings usually lessen with time. However, for some, grief can be intense, long-lasting and affect their ability to cope with daily life.

If this is you, professional support could help you to process the loss and start to feel better.   

Birth Trauma

Some people experience events during pregnancy and childbirth that would traumatise anyone. For others, it’s not always sensational or dramatic events that have a lasting impact, but other factors such as loss of control, loss of dignity or feelings of not being heard.

If you say your birth was traumatic for you, then it was.

For some people, a difficult childbirth can have a lasting impact on their mental health and wellbeing. It could cause them to:

  • Relive the worst parts of the birth over and over again, through flashbacks or nightmares.
  • Avoid anything that reminds of the birth.
  • Feel jumpy and over-anxious or depressed, irritable, and angry.

It can feel lonely and isolating if other people struggle to understand what you’re going through.

If this is you, it’s important to know that you are not alone, and support is available to help you feel well again. 

Fear of pregnancy and childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are major events in any person’s life. While it can be a time of great joy, it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. It’s normal to worry about the pain of childbirth or the possibility of something going wrong. For some people, these fears can become overwhelming and consuming.  At their most intense, these fears can sometimes lead to avoiding becoming pregnant or terminating a wanted pregnancy.

If this is you, support could help you to manage your fears and make decisions around family planning, pregnancy, or childbirth that are right for you.  

Help and Support

Who is this service for?

Perinatal trauma and loss care (TLC) is a specialist NHS mental health service for women and birthing people in Hertfordshire who are experiencing significant mental distress due to:

  • Pregnancy or baby loss at any stage:
    • Miscarriage
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Still birth
    • Termination for medical reasons
    • Neonatal death or infant loss up to 2 years old
  • A difficult or traumatic birth or maternity experience
  • A debilitating fear or dread of pregnancy or childbirth

You need to be registered with a Hertfordshire GP to access this service.

Who is in our team?

We are a small team of professionals which include someone with lived experience of mental health difficulties during the perinatal period, psychologists, a specialist midwife and a psychiatrist. 

What support do you offer?

The care we offer will be based on your individual needs and preferences, but may include psychological therapy, practical and/or emotional support. This could be one to one or in a group setting.

How can I access support?

You can refer yourself by emailing hpft.perinataltlc@nhs.net

We know it feels daunting reaching out for help. If you feel scared to do it alone, ask a friend or family member to help you take the first step.

Alternatively, you can ask a professional (e.g., GP, midwife or health visitor) to make a referral for you.

What happens next?

Once received, the team will review the referral and will be in touch to discuss the support options available to you. 

Depending on your circumstances, you may be offered support from our team or sign-posted or referred to a service better able to meet your needs. 

Further Information

For more information about the service, you can contact us by phone on (01923) 953742 (Tuesday to Thursday, 08.30am to 4.30pm) or via email at hpft.perinataltlc@nhs.net

Contact Us