SARAH Baker knows too well the agony of stillbirth - but she hopes a new room at Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital will help ease the trauma for other women.

Medical problems meant that Mrs Baker, from Ebbw Vale, has three times had to give birth to a dead baby, in a busy maternity unit with healthy newborns.

Now a facility unique to Nevill Hall - the Blaenau Gwent Millennium Room - means women facing an ordeal like hers will be able to give birth in more sensitive surroundings, staying there with loved ones.

"This used to be like any other delivery room, but now it's a lot more homely, it's a far more sympathetic approach," said Mrs Baker, who lives with husband David, son Tomas, nine, and three-year-old daughter Megan.

"Between Tomas and Megan I lost three babies, all stillborn. "I wanted my husband to stay with me but there was nowhere for him to sleep. The room now has a sofa which can be turned into a bed, and is decorated to make it less like a hospital room. The last time I was in that room I was here in very different circumstances."

That Mrs Baker was there, however, is appropriate, for the facility was inspired by her experiences.

Her father, the Rev Teify Ebenezer, was chaplain to former Blaenau Gwent councillor Karen Williams, who was the county borough's mayor during 1999/2000. When she was looking for projects to be supported by the mayor's annual fundraising appeal, this room was suggested and adopted as a cause.

The room has a door giving direct access to the grounds, away from the unit.

Mrs Baker underwent specialist treatment and monitoring in London for three months to try to ensure tragedy did not strike a fourth time. The result was Megan. She emphasised it is vital that women going through the ordeal of giving birth to a baby who has died in the womb be given every assistance to help ease the emotional pain.

"I remember once, knowing the baby was not going to make it, but on the ward I could hear other babies. That was very traumatic."