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Support group launched in Tipton for women experiencing child or infant loss

A woman has launched a group for parents who have faced any type of baby or child loss – after struggling to find support herself.

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Nicola Browning, front centre, who runs the Our Angel Bears support group

Nicola Browning, from Tipton, said there was "no support" in the area after she had a miscarriage eight weeks into her pregnancy.

The 28-year-old initially thought she had enquired at the wrong time, but three years later and there was still "nothing out there".

It led her to setting up the support group through Our Angel Bears, a charity which offered her much-needed support over the loss in 2019.

Nicola Browning, who runs the Our Angel Bears support group, has decorated the railings at Jubilee Park Community Centre to help raise awareness of the national Baby Loss Awareness Week

Nicola said: "Me and my wife went through the IVF process and then we had a miscarriage and it broke me. Because of it being such an early loss, it gets overlooked and the impact it has on people – I ended up leaving work and this is why I really wanted my group to be there for others.

"It doesn't matter what period of gestation the baby is in because that's your baby and you should be allowed to feel how you feel and support should be there.

"There was no support in the area for me and I remember looking around and there just wasn't that help there. I assumed I caught them at the wrong time, but three years later I checked and there was still nothing out there – so I thought I'd set up the support group myself and it's the only one in Sandwell."

The group, which is part of Our Angel Bears, meets on the second Friday each month at the Jubilee Park Community Centre in Tipton between 12pm and 1pm, with free refreshments on offer.

Nicola said: "It was launched earlier this year and it's been well attended so far. Our focus is on memory-making activities, and we have coffee and biscuits and just really talk about how we're feeling."

They also provide keepsake packages to hospitals in the area so parents can have something physical to remember their child, rather than several leaflets about their loss.

Nicola, who is hoping the group will eventually expand into West Bromwich and Dudley in the future, said it was about "giving back" after the help she received from the charity.

And she and others have decorated the railings at the community centre to help raise awareness of Baby Loss Awareness Week which runs from October 15. People can drop into the community centre or receive advice by visiting Our Angel Bears on Facebook.

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