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Loss of a Baby in Multiple Pregnancy: Supporting Grieving Parents

Gain a deeper understanding of what parents go through when losing a baby in a multiple pregnancy and how to support them.

1,370 enrolled on this course

A black and white image of a twin baby laying under a blanket that reads 'Susie' next to a blanket reading 'Grace'.
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Give real support to bereaved parents after pregnancy or neonatal loss

Pregnancy loss and neonatal death are always devastating. When they occur in a multiple pregnancy, parents can be especially overwhelmed by the complex cluster of feelings that is evoked.

This two-week course by The Butterfly Project will provide in-depth guidance into what parents are going through, how to provide bereavement support, and how to celebrate each life in a multiple pregnancy.

Gain insight into experiences following multiple pregnancy loss

On this course, you’ll get to explore the unique parental experiences of reproductive loss in a multiple pregnancy and the key challenges that arise in hospital wards and after discharge. The importance of peer-led discussion and insight sharing is stressed at all times.

Unpack bereavement support fundamentals for every stage

The high-quality learning materials and guidelines in this course were developed in partnership with parents, so you can trust their effectiveness.

From dealing with the immediate aftermath of the loss to encouraging parents to create memories of the life they’re mourning, you’ll feel more confident in every clinical setting.

Learn bereavement support with an award-winning team

The Butterfly Project is a group of academics, doctors, and nurses dedicated to working with parents following neonatal death or pregnancy loss. Their latest research focuses on such losses experienced in multiple pregnancies. With unparalleled parental interviews and accounts, they deliver an exceptional course in bereavement support during and after these tragic events.

The development of this course was supported by an unrestricted grant paid to Skye High Foundation from Elba Charitable Foundation and Inspiration Healthcare Charitable Trust.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Baby Matthew is quite comfortable as he begins to appreciate his place as the youngest member of the Waton family.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds But what he isn’t aware of, at least not yet, is the story of his birth and his legacy. The Watons were actually expecting a twin birth. I’m happy to let you know that we found a heartbeat. In fact, we’ve found two. And I just burst out crying even more and just went, it’s all your fault. [LAUGHS] In 2015, 16 out of every 1,000 birthing mothers delivered infants in multiples. Prematurity is common amongst these multiple births. But more so, sadly, so is the risk of death. That baby that was in the incubator there was nothing like that baby we’d seen in high dependency. She’d swollen up. The only thing I can think like a puffer fish.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds When he died on the Friday in my arms– well, on my chest, the doctors came round and said that he had got three infections. The shocked parents are caught between joy at the birth of their child and grief over the loss of the other baby or babies. We want baby Matthew and his family to realise that for us he is still a twin.


  • Week 1

    Baby loss in a twin pregnancy

    • Introduction

      In this opening activity, our lead educators and experts outline why this course is so important, and invite you to reflect on personal and professional approaches to twin loss.

    • Twins, triplets and more

      In this activity, we’ll be looking at the different types of multiple pregnancies, when and how they occur and the typical timelines of early pregnancy.

    • Loss of a baby from a multiple pregnancy

      In this activity, we explore parents’ experiences when complications arise during pregnancy, or after the babies are born, and reflect on what it feels like to lose one or more babies, but still have at least one surviving baby.

    • Acknowledging bereavement and twin status

      Here we will learn more about the importance of recognising twin status, acknowledging grief and loss, and the importance of remembering the name of the baby who died.

    • Coping with trauma and putting grief on hold

      In this activity, we consider the range of emotions experienced by parents suffering co-twin loss, and discuss how they try to balance the conflicting emotions of joy for the surviving baby, and grief for the baby who died.

    • Baby loss in multiple pregnancy

      In this activity, we learn how parents feel with the additional challenges that arise in a twin pregnancy, and identify actions that can improve parents’ experiences.

  • Week 2

    Twin loss - practical support and moving forward

    • How best to support parents following twin loss

      In this activity, we will briefly reflect on learning from the first week, and consider how best to support parents suffering twin loss.

    • Demonstrating emotion and making memories

      In this activity, we will consider behaviours that may help support parents. We will focus on the importance of acknowledging twin identity and loss, and then consider the impact relatively small actions and behaviours can have.

    • Location of care

      In this activity, you will be able to recognise how the physical location of care impacts on parents suffering co-twin loss, and will learn practical ways in which the healthcare environment can be considered or modified.

    • Continuity of information staffing and trust

      In this activity, you will explore how the continuity of information and staffing helps build trust. You’ll recognise how hospital discharge and the transition to home creates specific challenges, and discuss how to manage this.

    • The lifelong nature of twin loss

      Parents never forget about their babies. In this activity we think about the challenges parents face in the first few weeks and months, the challenges of birthdays and anniversaries, and how wider family and friends can help.

    • Wrap up and connect

      In this activity, we will reflect on how best to support parents in different settings and understand how families grow to develop positive memories of their lost twin.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate understanding into the experiences of families following multiple pregnancy loss.
  • Assess various high-quality learning materials and guidelines surrounding bereavement support.
  • Explore the challenges that arise in hospital wards and after discharge.
  • Reflect on the feelings, experiences and complexity of emotions of parents suffering reproductive loss in the context of multiple pregnancy.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for health professionals working with expecting or recently-bereaved multiple pregnancy parents in any capacity. Doctors, midwives, nurses, counsellors, and psychologists will all find it valuable.


This course is recognised for CPD by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The Institute for Health Visiting (iHV) is committed to equitable access to all families to support transition to parenthood, perinatal mental health and healthy couple relationships. The loss of a baby from a multiple pregnancy course is unique and complements the iHV supported perinatal mental health e-learning programme, developing resilience with compassion e-learning, small wonders e-learning. The iHV has approved this learning product until 01/09/2023.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) recognises continued professional development and lifelong learning, including web based development. The Loss of a Baby from a Multiple Pregnancy course is unique and complements the RCH perinatal mental health training. The RCN has approved this learning product until 10/10/2022.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has approved this online learning product from 19/10/2021 to 18/10/2023 in accordance with the current RCPCH CPD Guidelines.

Who will you learn with?

Professor of Neonatal Medicine with >25 years experience in large NICU. Lead research programmes in neonatal nutrition & work with parents

I founded The Skye High Foundation back in 2016 after the loss of one of my twins, Skye. I am passionate about making a change for bereaved families during and after their loss.

I am Professor of Maternal and Child Health. I have led projects on different types of loss involving parents and professionals, gaining insights and understanding of their experiences.

Who developed the course?

The Skye High Foundation

The Skye High Foundation provides support to families during and after the loss of a baby from a multiple pregnancy, as well as providing education for health care professionals.

Newcastle University

A thriving international community of over 20,000 students. The university’s mission as a world-class civic university means it applies its academic excellence to real-world challenges.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Online courses from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Endorsers and supporters

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