I led for the SNP in the Baby Loss Awareness debate this week. Baby Loss Awareness Week which culminates in International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on 15th October.
This year’s theme is Break the Silence. For too long, those affected by baby loss suffered in silence, their grief compounded by a deep sense of isolation. With around 6,500 babies each year across the UK being lost – 4,000 stillborn with 2,500 dying within a month of birth, it is important that those of us who live with such loss speak out to do what we can to break the taboo around these tragic deaths and I am proud to sit as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Stillbirth and Neo Natal Death.
During this debate it was also important to acknowledge the progress made so far as well as what still needs to be done to continue to reduce the number of babies lost whilst supporting those who face this life-changing trauma.
The Bereavement Care Pathway is being rolled out and will standardise and improve the quality of care for all parents at all stages of pregnancy and baby loss; the possibility of a Fatal Accident Inquiry into stillbirths under very specific circumstances and where it is in the public interest; the Parental Bereavement Bill which enshrines in law bereaved parents right to statutory paid leave upon the death of their child and exploring how to best implement a way officially registering the loss of a baby prior to 24 weeks gestation, should parents wish it. Currently there is no such provision and many parents feel that this is an important part of their loss being acknowledged.
However, there is still much to do and I will continue to campaign on reducing baby loss and support for those who find themselves facing this life-changing event.
Please click below to hear my contribution to the debate.