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Our Health Professional Advisors

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Bio – Health Professional Advisor (Neonatal & Paediatrics)

Dr Nick Embleton BSc MBBS MD FRCPCH is Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Newcastle University and Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Nick qualified in 1990 and has worked in neonatology for more than 30 years. He leads a broad portfolio of research, as part of a team based in Newcastle upon Tyne, focused in two key areas:

  1. nutrition

  2. baby loss

 

Studies have explored the feelings and experiences of families (and the NHS staff who looked after them) suffering co-twin baby loss.

The Butterfly Project Logo

Hello! I am writing to introduce myself and our research, and thank you to Sharon and Suzie for inviting me to join the team.

 

Our qualitative research involved families where there was a multiple pregnancy where one or more babies died, but where there was at least one surviving baby, and we developed a Butterfly symbol that parents can use on their baby’s incubator or cot when the surviving baby is still in hospital.

 

Many of our families had a twin baby who had died on the neonatal unit, but we also spoke with families where the baby loss was a miscarriage or stillbirth. Our findings have been published in medical journals, and we also created a film project with families. We now provide Butterfly cot cards to hundreds of hospitals in the UK, supported by our charity partner Purple Butterfly | The Skye High Foundation

 

We created a website www.neonatalbutterflyproject.org where you can find out more and see these short videos. The website is designed for health professionals rather than families and the public, so some people might find the information emotional or triggering. We also created an eLearning course for health professionals to help educate and improve the care we can provide within the NHS. Loss of a Baby in Multiple Pregnancy: Supporting Grieving Parents - FutureLearn

New research

So far, our research has focused on the feelings and experiences during the pregnancy and the immediate period after birth. We are now interested in learning more about what life is like for families with a lone twin (also called twinless twin) during the childhood period. We are particularly interested in how the lone twin came to learn they were a twin, how they think about and make memories of their twin, and what activities families may do in memory of the twin baby who died. We want to learn more about birthdays and anniversaries, and other aspects like what lone twins say to their teachers in school when asked if they have brothers or sisters.

 

Our research will use questionnaires and interviews, and we also hope to film with our families again. We will share a link to the research in a few weeks’ time, and we are grateful to the support from Footprints charity.

 

In the meantime, if you want to learn more you can visit the website or email me nicholas.embleton@ncl.ac.uk . Thank you!

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