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Extra support

  • Our team are here to help guide and support you through this difficult process. It is very common for families to experience a range of different emotions including grief, anger, sadness and also to worry about the needs of other family members or children. Look after yourself and remember it’s ok to ask for help. Utilise the people around you who are willing to share the load. Social workers can assist with discussing support services and resources for families to use in these difficult circumstances.

    Our care for you and your family does not end once you leave our unit. We will continue to remain in contact with you according to your needs and preferences. All families will be offered a subsequent bereavement appointment with their baby’s doctor and social worker.

    Sibling support in the RCH – tips for parents

    • Communicate and be honest: Speak in an open way with children using words that they are able to understand at their age.
    • Allow space for questions: Children may be scared to ask questions in case they upset you. It is ok to check-in with them and ask if they have any questions and let them know it’s ok to ask.
    • Provide reassurance: Siblings can sometimes be concerned that they caused their brother or sister to get sick, or that they are the reason that you are upset. Reassure them that it is not their fault and they are safe.
    • Help your child learn to cope: Let your children talk to you about how they are feeling and reassure them that it is ok to be sad, frustrated, angry and excited about their new brother or sister.
    • Allow visits to the ward: Visits to the ward can be helpful for children to understand where their brother and sister is and what keeps you away from them. Planning and preparation is important. It is a good idea to have an activity for them to do at the bedside.• Make special time: Despite the distressing time in the hospital, it is important to try and schedule some special time with your other children away from the hospital. This can be a simple activity like playing in the park. Your child will feel special by having your undivided attention.
    • Maintain routine: Routine is important for children and it helps them cope with change and feel safe and secure in their world. Where possible, use caregivers that they know and keep them children in familiar environments to help feel safe and secure.


    Recommended books for children

    Title Author/illustrator Ages
    Life is Like the Wind Shona Innes
    Irisz Agocs
    4–6 years of age
    In My Heart: A Book of Feelings Jo Witek
    Christine Roussey
    3+ years of age
    The Memory Box: A Book About Grief oanna Rowland
    Thea Baker/td>
    6-7 years of age
    The Invisible String Patrice Karst
    Joanne Kew-Vriethoff
    4-8 years of age
    When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death Laurie Krasny Brown
    Marc Brown
    6-7 years of age
    My Many Coloured Days Dr Seuss 6-7 years of age
    What Does Dead Mean? Caroline Jay
    Jenni Thomas
    Joy Dale
    4-7 years of age
    Gentle Willow: A story for children about dying Joyce C Mills
    Cary Pillo
    6-7 years of age
    Ben’s Flying Flowers Inger Maier
    Maria Bogarde
    4-6 years of age
    Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in between Bryan Mellonie
    Robert Inpen
    Badger’s Parting Gifts Susan Varley 7-8 years of age
    Water Bugs and Dragonflies -Explaining Death to Young Children (Colouring book)

    Doris Stickney 4-8 years of age
    You Could Have Been Ann-Marie Imrie