My National Live Radio Debut

Last night featured my live national radio debut, with an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live about my experiences with Hugo.

The interview was in relation to MP Antoinette Sandbach talking in Parliament about the night her son Sam died of cot death and calling for better bereavement care for parents.

I learned of the piece through the wonderful Mel Scott, who posted on Facebook to say she had been asked to speak about her son Finley and the training she does with maternity health professionals in his memory.

A bereaved dad called in and gave a very emotional account of the loss of his son, and how fathers receive very little support. You can hear the dad, as well as other interviews from the main part of the programme through In Short.

A representative from Bliss also spoke on the programme, which was very heartening because baby bereavement care often focuses on stillbirth. Stillbirth and neonatal death are equal tragedies, but have slightly different needs: facilities for families who have suffered a stillbirth include bereavement midwives and bereavement suites on postnatal wards, but for many parents whose baby died in the NICU their time on the maternity wards was some days, weeks, or even months before, leading to disjointed and uncoordinated support.

My beautiful Hugo

My beautiful Hugo

Several other posts describe my own experiences, and the experiences of other women who have lost a baby, as well as what needs to be done to improve support – including Language Matters; The Option for Compassionate End-of-Life Care; Easy and Quick Access to Counselling After Baby Loss; My #MatExp Action and about the #PNDHour chat, to name just a few.

I called the programme and spoke to a lovely researcher about Hugo. A little while later, the producer called asking if I would be prepared to speak live about my experiences, and what could have been done better just after 11.30pm. I was nervous, but thrilled to be able to speak about #HugosLegacy on national radio.

I am pleased with how I did. My own assessment is that was a fair balance between what went well and what could have been done better; and between emotion and fact.

I was also pleased to have got in a mention for HELLP syndrome; for my blog; #HugosLegacy; the work I have been doing with St George’s; and #MatExp.

My comms and PR background stood me in good stead – when I worked in a press office I would be the liaison between the media and colleagues who were going to be interviewed, helping brief and prepare them.

Many years ago, when I worked for a PCT in public health I would regularly do recorded interviews for local radio about things like encouraging women to have their smear tests, and healthy lifestyles. Thankfully, I have come a long way since my first live local radio interview, which came with about 10 minutes’ notice during the swine flu pandemic. I was so eager to convey all my key messages I didn’t let the presenter get a word in, much to the amusement of my boss.

I am hopeful that step by small step, by raising awareness on such platforms we can achieve better bereavement support for all parents who lose a precious baby.

If you experienced complications in pregnancy or have lost a baby, please also take a moment to complete the National Maternity Review survey.

Me and Hugo

Me and Hugo

Let's Talk Mommy
And then the fun began...

26 Comments on My National Live Radio Debut

  1. Louise Parry
    November 19, 2015 at 10:23 pm (2 years ago)

    You were very brave to speak as calmly and eloquently as you did on live radio and I can’t imagine it was an easy thing for you to do. You are spreading a hugely important message and helping to educate people about issues that they’ve probably never even heard of. I’m so incredibly proud of you my lovely.
    Louise Parry recently posted…To Jeremy Hunt, On Behalf of My HusbandMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 24, 2015 at 8:47 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, lovely xxx

      Reply
  2. Jenny
    November 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s absolutely amazing and so proud of you. You did amazing and sounds like you were made for that job and it probably helped so many hearing your story. Way to go hunny. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me and hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Four most common DIY plumbing failsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 19, 2015 at 10:53 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Jenny xxx

      Reply
  3. Katie / Pouting In Heels
    November 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh Leigh. I’m so proud of you. You did absolutely BRILLIANTLY and will have really helped people by sharing your story, #hugoslegacy and raising awareness of HELLP syndrome. (Which I had never heard of either.)

    It actually made me cry, hearing what you went through. How you managed to keep your composure and speak so eloquently, I don’t know, but well done you darling. As always, your passion and determination for change, is so evident and so, so moving. xxx
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…LIVING ‘LA DOLCE VITA’ AT A BOOKINGS FOR YOU VILLAMy Profile

    Reply
  4. Mrs Tubbs
    November 13, 2015 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

    Congratulations, you were brilliant. It’s an important message you’re delivering and it’s important it doesn’t get lost in all the other noise about the NHS etc

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 12, 2015 at 9:39 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Sara xx

      Reply
  5. Sam
    November 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm (2 years ago)

    For some reason the clip you’ve posted isn’t working for me – is there somewhere I can go on iPlayer to listen? Congratulations for what sounds like a very balanced and informative appearance though. Xx #thetruthabout
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #51My Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 12, 2015 at 9:40 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Sam! I’ve tweeted you the link 🙂 xx

      Reply
  6. Mary Smith
    November 10, 2015 at 10:05 am (2 years ago)

    Well done Leigh, thats fantastic. How great you are raising all of this awareness and helping others. eeekkkk radio!!

    Its funny reading this because Nathan and I are doing a radio thing this week too – HOW MAD! Any tips? haha x
    Mary Smith recently posted…How Safe is your home? CO2 Awareness with Corgi Home planMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 12, 2015 at 9:42 am (2 years ago)

      Ooh fabulous, Mary! In terms of tips – speak from the heart and the rest will come naturally xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      November 12, 2015 at 9:41 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Tim x

      Reply
  7. Victoria
    November 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this Leigh. It is powerful and compelling. I appreciate your boldness and courageousness in speaking out for bereaved parents. #HugosLegacy

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 12, 2015 at 9:41 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Victoria – that’s very kind xx

      Reply
  8. Bella
    November 9, 2015 at 10:23 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story and for raising awareness. I’m so sorry you’ve been through this.

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 9, 2015 at 10:50 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you for taking the time to listen me talking about Hugo, and for your kind comment xx

      Reply
  9. Honest mum
    November 9, 2015 at 9:10 am (2 years ago)

    A wonderful, calm, powerful piece Leigh. You are so brave to speak so openly and through doing so, you are helping so many. I’d never heard of Hellp Syndrome nor had I heard of OC before I got it, there is so much that isn’t discussed and you are right there is not enough training for front of line staff in times of trauma or in death. You were treated so badly, how those doctors could react in that way, it is inhumane. This made me cry. Sending you lots of love, so proud of all the work you do xxx
    Honest mum recently posted…Vlog 19: A Day Off With My Boy & Hitting M&S and MorrisonsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 9, 2015 at 10:40 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much darling Vicki. I really felt like I couldn’t not phone the radio station to talk about Hugo and my experiences. There is a huge need for better training for trauma, giving bad news, and bereavement with health professionals. Many of them recognise it themselves – I hope that through my work I can help make a difference. Thank you for all your kind support as always, it really does mean a lot xxx

      Reply
  10. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)
    November 9, 2015 at 6:39 am (2 years ago)

    Leigh I’ve just listened to this and oh my you were AMAZING. So calm, clear and thorough. You spoke with passion but without drama and got the message out there beautifully about the work you’re doing, your experiences and lovely Hugo. I’m so, so proud of you honey xxx
    Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser) recently posted…Share the Joy link up #28My Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 9, 2015 at 10:37 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much my lovely – your support of me and of Hugo’s Legacy means a lot xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      November 9, 2015 at 10:37 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to me talking about Hugo xx

      Reply
  11. Harriet
    November 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Well done Leigh – what a great achievement! You spoke really well. Hope you are feeling proud of yourself xx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      November 9, 2015 at 10:36 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Harriet. I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to talk about Hugo and to raise awareness xx

      Reply

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