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The loss of a baby is truly devastating, causing crushing grief for bereaved parents and making progress in reducing the incidence of baby loss must be a priority.

I led for the SNP in a debate on this matter last week, calling for a culture change in how women are treated when they raise concerns during their pregnancy, with too many women feeling dismissed and ignored.

If we are to improve outcomes, then when mistakes happen they must be acknowledged, though unfortunately too many bereaved parents run into obstacles when trying to find out why their baby died. In my own case, all the signs of HELLP syndrome were there, but they were missed by a series of clinicians, leading to my baby son being stillborn at full term and very nearly also leading to my own death from a ruptured liver.

While there has been some welcome progress made in recent years in reducing baby loss, it is alarming that there has been an increase during the Covid19 pandemic and we must understand why this is. This is particularly harrowing as it has left bereaved parents isolated from their support networks due to public health restrictions.

Any action to reduce baby loss must consider pre-eclampsia and I highlighted the encouraging work on placental growth factor (PLGF) testing, which could improve early detection and diagnosis and potentially save the lives of 1,000 babies per year.

It is vital that we continue to work to reduce baby loss throughout the UK and share best practice between constituent parts of the UK, so that expectant mothers and families can be assured of the safest possible delivery of their baby.

Watch my speech below.


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