We are very sorry to hear that your pregnancy has ended, and we know that losing your baby at any gestational age can be devastating. This information is aimed at all women who have lost a baby up to 20 weeks gestation, to reassure you that your pregnancy remains will be treated with dignity and respect.

The majority of the pregnancy remains will need to go for histological testing, following both miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies. This unfortunately will not tell us why your pregnancy has failed, or why the ectopic occurred, but will exclude a more serious cause for miscarriage. In the case of ectopic pregnancy that was managed with an operation, it helps us to confirm the diagnosis.

Sometimes for the later losses a post mortem will be arranged, this will be discussed separately with the medical professional overseeing your care.

After this process, the remains go to our mortuary where they will be prepared for the option of sensitive disposal chosen by you and your family.

The sensitive options that are available to you:

Pregnancy losses up to and including 13 weeks gestation

Sensitive incineration – The pregnancy remains are taken off-site and placed in its own container, but with other pregnancy remains. These are then incinerated. There are no ashes available following this process.

Communal burial – A burial is organised by the hospital Bereavement Team and overseen by the hospital chaplain using contract undertakers. The burial is non-religious and takes place in an un-consecrated area of Yeovil cemetery.

Pregnancy remains for communal burial are packed by mortuary staff and allocated a unique confidential reference number specific to the woman. Each pregnancy remains are in their own container, however interred with other pregnancy remains.  This information is stored electronically by mortuary staff and enables any subsequent enquiries from the woman about the whereabouts of the remains to be answered accurately.

Yeovil Cemetery maintains a record of communal burials but does not have access to specific woman or pregnancy loss details.

The chaplaincy is available to provide individual support to families who have chosen the communal arrangements but may feel that a specific service for their loss is appropriate at a later date.  You and your family members can choose to attend the burial if they so wish. Details can be obtained from the hospital bereavement team.

Your own arrangements – You can choose to collect your pregnancy remains from the mortuary and make your own arrangements. When the remains are ready for collection the Early Pregnancy Team will arrange an appointment for the you to do this.

You will be able to make suitable funeral arrangements with your own undertakers and will be charged independently for any costs involved, if any.

Home burials – We can give guidance on home burials under 24 weeks gestation. Whilst there is generally no legal prohibition to home burials, patients choosing this option should take into account a number of additional factors. Full details are available from the hospital bereavement team.

Pregnancy losses between 13 and 20 weeks (in addition to the options above)

Individual cremation – The hospital, via hospital contract undertakers, will provide formal funeral arrangements for the cremation and will meet the basic costs (not including flowers, cars etc).  you will be provided with as much information as necessary about the funeral and are under no obligation to attend.

Details of this service are available from the bereavement team and hospital chaplain.

If you have any questions

Any member of the Early Pregnancy Team, or the Bereavement Team will be happy to discuss any of the above options further, and answer any questions you may have.

You do not have to make a decision right away. It is important you have time to consider what option you would like and ensure you have made the right decision during this difficult time.

Early pregnancy specialist nurses
01935 384 385

Bereavement Team
01935 384 746

Linda Hann
Lead Hospital Chaplain
07793 66805 or 01935 384 357

Miscarriage Association
01924 200799

Counselling 4 Yeovil
Tel: 07896630296

Ref: 14-21-172
Review: 06/21