BABY LOSS DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC
To mark annual Baby Loss Awareness Week, I once again this year participated in a debate on baby loss, although the debate this year was, sadly, delayed by several weeks. This year the debate focused on the issue of baby loss during Covid19 and highlighted the additional challenges the pandemic has created for people experiencing the unbearable grief of losing a child. I am all too aware of the devastating impact such a loss has, having suffered a stillbirth at full term in 2009, which followed a miscarriage in 2008.
While it remains unclear if Covid19 poses a particular risk to pregnant women, there has been a reported a rise in stillbirths at the height of the pandemic earlier this year. It is not clear yet as to why this is but it is important we give expectant mums reassurance that the NHS is safe and ready to assist them, even as it deals with the pandemic.
The loss of a baby at any time brings terrible, isolating grief. Unfortunately, social distancing requirements have only compounded these feelings, isolating grieving parents from their support networks of friends and family, removing any hope of distraction from the grief and loss parents have been experiencing. Funeral restrictions heap further misery on top of an already heart-breaking situation, limiting who can attend and what limiting the kind of service parents may wish for their child.
Baby Loss charities do a wonderful job at supporting bereaved parents during such difficult times, but they too face restrictions that have had a major impact on the services they provide. While we all struggle to deal with the restrictions we are currently facing, it is important we spare a thought for those who have suffered such a tragic loss and consider how they can be better supported at such a difficult time.
You can watch my speech below.