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11 Oct 2023

Free training for professionals supporting parents who've suffered neonatal loss


A free training programme has been developed for health professionals to support parents who have had a loss from a multiple pregnancy.

Professor Judith Rankin, lead for our Supporting Children and Families (SCF) theme and Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Newcastle University, and Professor Nick Embleton, Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Newcastle University are the authors of this training course. Here, they explain some more about the programme.

Loss of a Baby in Multiple Pregnancy: Supporting Grieving Parents

Pregnancy loss and neonatal death are always devastating. When they occur in a multiple pregnancy, parents can be especially overwhelmed by the complex feelings that are evoked.

Within our work, we are leads of The Butterfly Project – a group of academics, doctors, and nurses dedicated to working with parents following neonatal death or pregnancy loss.

As a team, we have worked together and with parents to develop a free, two-week online training programme that can provide in-depth guidance into what parents are going through, how to provide bereavement support, and how to celebrate each life in a multiple pregnancy.

The programme was developed in close partnership with parents who have experienced loss, so is underpinned by this lived experience.

It has been designed for health professionals working with expecting or recently-bereaved multiple pregnancy parents in any capacity, and doctors, midwives, nurses, counsellors, and psychologists will also find it valuable.

Parents who have experienced loss have also completed the course, and told us that they found the programme really useful and supportive as they worked through their experiences.

We’ve already had some excellent feedback, and the course has been rated 4.9 stars out of 5 by those who’ve completed it so far.

Learners have described it as ‘powerful, extremely interesting, well laid out and easy to use, informative’ and have told us that they ‘feel their practice will benefit hugely from it’.

One learner has described it as an ‘invaluable resource’, adding that ‘everyone working in maternal and neonatal healthcare should take this course.’

We’ve been so pleased by how well it has been received, and we would like to encourage  as many professionals as possible to complete it.

If you would like to undertake the training, it is completely free of charge and available via the FutureLearn Training platform – a link is below.

We know how time-pressured health care professionals are, which is why we’ve designed it to be flexible. You can complete it at your own pace. The course is recognised for CPD by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The development of this course was led by the Skye High Foundation and kindly supported by an unrestricted grant paid to Skye High Foundation from the Elba Charitable Foundation and Inspiration Healthcare Charitable Trust.

Access the training using the links below

Free access for NHS staff –

2-week free access then paid

If you’d like to share your thoughts on this training once you’ve completed it, please email [email protected] or [email protected]