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Beyond Bea partners with Oldham Community Leisure to provide baby loss bereavement and yoga sessions

Oldham Active Communities, part of Oldham Community Leisure (OCL), is providing free weekly online baby loss yoga wellbeing sessions for anyone affected by the loss of a child in partnership with the Manchester based charity, Beyond Bea.

The hour-long weekly sessions will take place via Zoom every Tuesday at midday starting 23rd February 2021. The sessions are free, inclusive and welcome to all.

Mark Woodcock, Health and Wellbeing Advisor, Oldham Active Communities says: “Following the success of our online grief wellbeing sessions, we felt it was important to provide specialist sessions for those who experience the loss of their baby, be that through still birth, termination of pregnancy, compassionate induction, neonatal death or miscarriage. 

“The Oldham Active Community team is proud of the work it provides in supporting all families, including our parent and baby groups. However, we need to recognise that baby loss is very much part of this landscape.”

Steph Wild, an NHS midwife and the founder of the Beyond Bea charity, will be on hand at the start and end of each session to give guidance and advice on baby loss, and one of the OCL fitness instructors will deliver a simple yoga and mindfulness component.

Mark Woodcock says: “The sessions are designed to be suitable for anyone who has been affected by baby loss, and are considered to have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the attendees. Steph will act as a safety net in these online wellbeing sessions, and offer advice and guidance whilst enabling people to connect and talk freely.”

Local charity, Beyond Bea, which delivers baby loss bereavement training and study days for healthcare professionals and students, was set up in 2018, shortly after its founder, Steph Wild, 27, became a bereaved parent, when her daughter Bea was born at 23 weeks and four days gestation. 

Steph, originally from Oldham, is a registered NHS midwife working in Greater Manchester. She says: “Baby loss is often seen as a taboo subject; something that is hidden and not spoken about. It is important to recognise and acknowledge the loss of any baby, and that these families have the right to the same level of dignity and respect in their grief.  For many families, they become parents from the moment they get a positive pregnancy test. Their baby is already formed in their heads and in their hearts. Bereaved parents want to talk about their child. Talking with a bereaved parent doesn’t remind them that their baby died – they haven’t forgotten. It reminds them that you remember that they lived, which means the world to them.

“These online sessions are a safe environment for people to virtually come together at a time when many people are increasingly feeling isolated due to the pandemic. Baby loss hasn’t gone away just because there is a pandemic.  We are delighted to partner with OCL in supporting and raising awareness for those who have been impacted by baby loss.”

Mark Woodcock says: “OCL really does deliver a wraparound approach in its support of the Oldham community. It is passionate about the positive impact physical activity can have for everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing, whatever their stage of life or circumstance. These specialist baby loss sessions are unique for OCL, and we hope attendees will find them a useful coping strategy and enable them to feel connected, heard and empowered in their loss.”

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