Whittington midwife who showed ‘amazing compassion’ to heartbroken mum of stillborn child up for national award

Compassionate: Jane Laking with daughter Rebecca

Compassionate: Jane Laking with daughter Rebecca - Credit: Archant

Kind Jane helped devastated mum through the tough times

An “amazingly compassionate” health worker who helped bring a smile back to the face of a devastated mother whose child was still born is up for a national award.

Jane Laking, 35, a bereavement midwife at the Whittington Hospital, is in the running for a Healthcare Hero Award from baby charity Tommy’s for the help she gave the grieving mum.

Fully 39 weeks into her pregnancy Amy Abrams was heartbroken when doctors at the Magdala Avenue hospital said her baby had no heartbeat.

Her daughter, Arella, was stillborn in June 2012.

She was introduced to Jane who, during the next 16 weeks, visited Amy and her husband at home on a regular basis to offer emotional support.

The midwife would stay for hours talking to Amy about her feelings, reassuring her it was nothing she’d done and there was no reason why she couldn’t go on to have a healthy baby.

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Amy became pregnant again in November 2012, with Jane by her side every step of the way, and gave birth to Zoe in July 2013.

It was a complicated labour and she needed an operation which was particularly upsetting because of what happened with Arella, but Jane helped her stay calm.

Amy, a solicitor, said: “Losing a baby has the potential to destroy a life. I dread to think of the state I would have been in without ever having met Jane. My husband would often comment that Jane’s visits brought a smile back to my face. Jane was my life saver but not in the traditional sense.

She added: “Jane helped me to believe that I would go onto find the happiness that at the time was unimaginable and gave me hope that I would go onto give birth to a healthy child.”

Jane said: “It’s incredibly touching to be nominated. It’s a tough job and I put my heart into it. I don’t expect anything back and for Amy to go out there and think of me is lovely.”

Now in its twentieth year, the Tommy’s Awards recognise people that make a difference to families, and in particular, those whose lives have been touched by pregnancy complications or the loss of a baby. One in four parents experiences the heartache of losing a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth and, every year in the UK one in 13 babies are born prematurely.

Jane Brewin, chief executive of Tommy’s, said: “Jane’s care and understanding made a world of difference to Amy and helped see her through some very tough times.”

The winners will be announced in a star-studded ceremony at the Landmark Hotel, London, on March 20.