BABY LOSS AWARENESS WEEK 2021
As I have done since I was first elected, I led for the Scottish National Party (SNP) on the debate on baby loss during Baby Loss Awareness Week, an issue very close to my heart after my stillbirth in 2009.
Across the UK 14 babies are stillborn every single day – that is over 5,000 babies every year, 1,000 of which are due to complications caused by pre-eclampsia.
Studies have also shown that women who had preeclampsia are four times more likely to later develop hypertension (high blood pressure) and are twice as likely to later develop ischemic heart disease (reduced blood supply to the heart muscle, which can cause heart attacks), a blood clot in a vein, and stroke as are women who did not have preeclampsia.
The pain of losing a baby to stillbirth is devastating for both parents and extended families, something I know only too well.
My own experience of stillbirth motivated me to work cross party to deliver the Parental Bereavement Bill so that all parents who lose a child up to the age of 18 can access 2 weeks statutory paid bereavement leave. I am also delighted that my amendment to the Bill ensured that this paid leave was added to the statutory maternity leave already provided to those who suffer a stillbirth. This was finally passed in the House of Commons in 2018.
Since I secured the first debate ever in the Commons on the issue of stillbirth in 2016, baby loss has been debated every single year in the Commons of which I am very proud as now more and more people feel able to finally talk about baby loss which for so long has been a taboo subject.
I will continue to work and campaign on this issue as I have done since I was first elected in 2015 and finally other MPs are now starting to talk about this as well. Please see my speech in this year’s debate by clicking the link below 👇