FAMILIES who have suffered the loss of a baby before or shortly after birth will be able to remember them through a new service that starts next month.

York Hospital chaplains will hold a monthly remembrance service on the first Thursday of every month at the hospital’s chapel.

It is the latest of two changes in two months at the hospital to help those who lose their child during pregnancy or very soon after birth.

The service will be from 10.30am to 11am and hospital chaplains will offer support and allow space for anyone who has been affected by the loss of their baby.

Bev Shelley, bereavement midwife, said: “The new service will be for any families who either could not have an individual funeral service for their babies under 14 weeks and those who, for whatever reason, did not have the opportunity or wish at the time, to attend a service.

“Pregnancy loss or the death of a baby is a tragedy affecting thousands of people every year. It is devastating for parents and families and it’s vital they get the bereavement support and care they need, for as long as they need it.”

According to York Sands, the still-born and neo-natal death charity, about 50 families a year at York Hospital are told their baby is unlikely to survive.

In March, the Butterfly Suite maternity bereavement suite was opened at York Hospital after the public helped York and Scarborough Hospitals Charity raise £250,000. Sands contributed £94,672.