A little bear hug helps the healing process

WHEN her son Vincent died during childbirth two years ago, Sian Walters felt completely alone.

But a simple teddy bear received in the mail made an enormous difference.

Now, the Mole Creek woman is working to ensure that other parents who lose babies from miscarriage, stillbirth, termination due to foetal abnormality and neonatal loss know they're not alone.

As the new state co- ordinator for Pregnancy Loss Australia, Mrs Walters raises money for support packs for grieving parents.

She said the packs, distributed to every hospital in the state, included resources which helped with funeral plans, provided counselling options, and shared the experiences of others who had lost their children.

"But the most important thing is the teddy bear. It means that people don't have to leave the hospital with empty arms," Mrs Walters said.

She said the Royal Hobart Hospital didn't yet have the packs when her son died on February 26, 2011.

"I was 24 1/2 weeks pregnant when my waters broke, and they flew me to Royal Hobart Hospital, but his heart stopped as they were prepping for an emergency caesarean," she said.

"I found out about Pregnancy Loss Australia and contacted them a bit later, and they sent me a bear, and it showed me I wasn't alone at a very lonely time.

"As you can see, it's a bit worn, it goes everywhere with us."

Mrs Walters said the organisation's next fund-raiser was a dad's day at Launceston's Boag's Brewery, with a $30 ticket covering a tour, gourmet barbecue and drinks.

For more information on the event or Pregnancy Loss Australia, email tas@pregnancyloss australia.org.au

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