The Miscarriage Association has welcomed a move by the Government to allow pregnancy losses before 24 weeks to be formally recognised
It will be the first time those experiencing miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancies in England will be able to receive an official certificate recording their loss.
While the optional certificates will not have the legal status of registration, nor confer benefits, for many people they will provide significant comfort and acknowledgement following their loss.
The new scheme is believed to be part of a raft of measures unveiled in the Women’s Health Strategy which aims to put a greater focus on women’s specific health conditions including fertility and pregnancy loss, and gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis.
Under the announcement, the certificates will be available across England. It is hoped that the other UK nations will follow suit.
Miscarriage Association National Director Ruth Bender Atik said the commitment will be appreciated by many.
She said: “We welcome this strategy and, in particular, the commitment to allow optional certification which we will know will be much appreciated by many people whose babies’ brief lives cannot be officially registered.”
Anna, who has had three first trimester miscarriages, said: “A pregnancy loss certificate would have made a huge difference to me in the grieving process for my miscarriages. To me, each of those losses was a baby as much as the child I was able to carry to term, and to have the option to have this recognised would have meant the world to me.
“I felt that my losses were seen as a physical medical issue for myself, and the lack of acknowledgement of what that meant for me was deeply hurtful. I believe these certificates would be a positive step in recognising the reality of the pain carried by all people processing the loss of a baby before 24 weeks.”
The MA said there was no more information on the plans for implementation, but it may be some time before these new certificates are available, and they will continue to advise the relevant Government departments as appropriate.
The Women’s Health Strategy also highlights the commitment to major new research into women’s health, to mandatory medical teaching and assessment on women’s health and to ensuring better access for women to health services throughout their lives.
An MA spokeswoman said: “Again, the details are yet to be announced, but we look forward to supporting the implementation of the Strategy, continuing to champion the needs of all those who experience miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.”
To find out more about the work of the Miscarriage Association and how the charity can support you, click here.
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