By Robyn Owens
TWO MUMS who suffered miscarriages say it is important to talk about the grief of losing a baby.
They were speaking out as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which is held to break down taboos about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK and to make more people conscious of the support that is available.
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place in October every year and gives people who have lost babies through miscarriage, still birth, birth complications or premature birth the chance to celebrate their babies.
Donna Fenwick, 44, of Hartlepool, lost a baby four months into her pregnancy. She said: “In the past people who lost a child kept it more private and it wasn’t until I lost a child that my own mother told me how she had suffered a miscarriage before having me.
“Personally I believe Baby Loss Awareness Week is helping people be more open and accepting of what has happened.”
Miss Fenwick had been trying to have a child for three years before she had the miscarriage. She now has a four-year-old daughter Isabella.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week is important to many mums as it helps them celebrate their child’s life. But I also understand why some wouldn’t want to take part in it. It’s hard to look back on if you have managed to deal with the emotions of what you have gone through,” she added.
Janet Bates, 33, also from Hartlepool, suffered three miscarriages. She said: “With having a few miscarriages I felt I had the support from friends and family.
“When I had my miscarriages, I never knew other friends had been through it themselves. Some people hold it in and that’s why we struggle to wash the bad memories away.”
Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands, a charity supporting parents who have suffered stillbirths or the death of their babies, said: “It is long overdue that the NHS makes the provision of excellent bereavement care mandatory across the UK.
“We believe every parent should be offered the bereavement support they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it and I urge all those responsible to make sure no parent is left to cope with the death of their baby alone.”
If you have experienced or are going through loss of a baby and would like support, Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity can be contacted on a helpline 8080 164 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org