True Vision

films that make a difference

Child of Mine

Child of Mine
Back to ‘Our Films’
Runtime:
72 minutes
Producer:
Amy Richardson
Director:
Katie Rice
Executive Producer:
Brian Woods
Released
2018
Category

See below for advice and links to organisations offering bereavement support and information on how to reduce the risk of stillbirth

Filmed over 2 years at UCLH and the Rosie Hospital, Child of Mine sensitively follows three couples through their personal journeys of losing a child before birth. 

After being together for 11 years, Fiona and Niall finally decided they would start a family. But their dreams were cut short when, in October 2016, their daughter Matilda was stillborn at 41 weeks. After grieving for the loss of Matilda and receiving counselling and support from UCLH in the months that followed, the couple were delighted when they became pregnant again. As they are supported and monitored through their subsequent pregnancy by Dr Melissa Whitten, Fiona and Niall must navigate through the uncertainty and try to stay positive, as they grieve for what was lost, and hope for what will be.


Originally from New Zealand Kezia and Chris moved to the UK for work and a life full of adventure and travel. They were also keen to start a family. Through IVF they were delighted to find out they were pregnant, but even more thrilled to discover they were expecting twins. Twins are more complicated than single pregnancies, so when Kezia and Chris are told that one of their twins is worryingly small, their journey becomes one of hope, praying as each week passes that their little ones will keep growing.


Together as a couple for 2 years but friends for much longer, Vicki and Bruce were thrilled when Vicki became pregnant. But six months into the pregnancy Vicki feels their daughter, Ruby, is not moving as much as she has been, and comes in to the Rosie Maternity Hospital. We meet them there. What follows is one of the most difficult journeys a new parent never thinks they will have to face; they are told that Ruby’s heart has stopped beating. Vicki still has to give birth to Ruby, and they bravely take us on their emotional journey as they try to adapt to this ‘new normal’ and face the world without their daughter. It is an incredibly difficult time for any couple, and this traumatic unknown territory can mean many struggle to stay together..

The UK has one of the highest rates of stillbirth in the developed world, yet these hidden bereavements are rarely talked about, often leaving parents isolated and alone.

Ultimately a positive film about life after loss, Child of Mine brings this tragic topic into the open by shining a light on the hidden crisis of stillbirth in the UK.


Read Chris & Kezia's story in The Sunday Mirror here

And read about Kezia & Chris in the Radio Times here 

Vicki and Bruce on BBC Breakfast

Fiona and Niall on ITV Lorraine

Vicki and Bruce feature on ITV Anglia news

Vicki and Bruce on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Dealing with stillbirth: Two dads reveal how life changes when the worst happens

Vicki & Bruce tell their story to Kathryn Knight in The Daily Mail

Not all stillbirths can be prevented, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.

These include:

  • not smoking
  • avoiding alcohol and drugs during pregnancy – as well as increasing the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, these can seriously affect your baby's development
  • attending all your antenatal appointments so that midwives can monitor the growth and wellbeing of your baby
  • making sure you're a healthy weight before trying to get pregnant
  • protecting yourself against infections and avoiding certain foods – see causes of stillbirth
  • reporting any tummy pain or vaginal bleeding to your midwife on the same day
  • being aware of your baby's movements and reporting any concerns you have to your midwife straightaway
  • reporting any itching to your midwife
  • going to sleep on your side, not on your back

For more information on preventing stillbirth follow these links:-

https://www.nhs.uk

https://babyloss-awareness.org

https://www.rcog.org.uk

https://www.kickscount.org.uk

https://www.tommys.org

For help and support:

Counselling:

Petals (Pregnancy Expectations Trauma and Loss Society) provides a specialised counselling service at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, Queen Charlottes and St Mary’s Hospitals in London, the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and Ipswich Hospital.

Petals was set up as a charity in 2011 by a group of healthcare professionals working in maternity care, alongside women who had experienced first-hand the loss of a baby, or trauma during birth.

https://petalscharity.org

Click here to read about Karen Burgess, CEO of Petals talking about supporting bereaved parents in their grief on Mumsnet


Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. We operate throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.


Child of Mine is supported by the Baby Loss Alliance, and group of over 50 charities all involved in perinatal loss.  For more information on their work, visit the Baby Loss Alliance website


We fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information to parents. We believe it is unacceptable that one in four women lose a baby during pregnancy and birth. We want every parent to have the best possible pregnancy outcomes and to take home happy, healthy babies.

Www.tommys.org



Others:

We are a UK based registered charity who have professional photographers volunteering their photography services for the benefit of UK parents losing their baby before, during or shortly after birth.

https://www.remembermybaby.org.uk

4Louis is a UK charity that works across the country to support anyone affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and the death of a baby or child. We also work to improve the care bereaved families receive from health care and other professionals. Find more information at www.4louis.co.uk

Aching Arms brings comfort to bereaved parents following the loss of their baby during pregnancy, at birth or shortly after. We support their emotional and mental health needs by offering the hand of friendship and giving one of our comfort bears. The bear is a gift from another family, who have dedicated the bear in memory of their baby. It is given with love and so the family who receives the bear knows they are not alone. We also provide information about Aching Arms, including the website, which signposts to other charities to ensure that parents are able to easily access support that is relevant for their needs.

 “When you begin the exciting journey of pregnancy you have no reason to believe it won’t have a happy ending. After losing our daughter, we felt lost and broken. Leaving hospital empty handed is a living nightmare, the Aching Arms bear doesn’t just give you something to hold, it gives you the comfort that you so desperately need, knowing you are not alone and another family understands the agony and the aching”. Tracy – bereaved mum.

https://achingarms.co.uk


Since its launch Saying Goodbye has been changing the face of baby loss support across the UK and globally. As the primary division of the Mariposa Trust, Saying Goodbye has embraced the use of social media, befrienders, online portals, therapy and more, providing relevant advice, information and support to tens of thousands of people each week for support or information head to - www.sayinggoodbye.org

Debbie Howard made the beautiful Still Loved film in 2016.






It is available to watch here.


And BBC News told the story of several mums for Baby Loss Awareness here in I am a Mother Without a Baby


The Sands Bereavement Support app was created for anyone who has experienced the death of a baby.

It aims to help bereaved parents and families to find the right information and support at the right time. The app can also be used by healthcare professionals, who would like to know how best to support bereaved parents and their families.  

The Sands Bereavement Support app contains information and support resources for bereaved parents, grandparents, families and friends, about:

-    saying goodbye to your baby
-    returning to work
-    making difficult decisions 
-    having a funeral for your baby
-    post-mortems
-    sexual relationships after loss
-    another pregnancy
-    how to support children
-    and much more

Download it now - simply click below

Sands Bereavement Support App on Google PlaySands Bereavement Support App on Apple Store

The app contains links to the Sands website with details of local support groups across the UK, ways to share your story, Sands bereavement care resources for professionals as well as details of our work in research and prevention.

The Story Behind The App

The idea to create an app was inspired by Nicole Regan-White, a bereaved mother, whose baby Jessica was stillborn. Find out more about her journey.