Local MP mark’s baby loss awareness week in Westminster

Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran marked Baby Loss Awareness Week in the House of Commons by recalling her own experience of stillbirth during a debate at Westminster.

Baby Loss Awareness Week, now in its 16th year, sees 60 charities come together to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK.

Mrs Gibson has previously spoken in Parliament about the loss of her baby in 2009, whose anniversary falls on 15th October, International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

As a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Baby Loss, the MP works across party political lines to develop policy that supports families dealing with the grief and loss of a baby, and to raise awareness of what more can be done by the UK Government, Parliament or other agencies to help those affected.

Mary Ross-Davie, Scotland Director of the Royal College of Midwives, said that Scotland was ahead of the game in the UK in response to a Leicester University study showed Scotland had the lowest stillbirth rate in the UK.

Commenting, Mrs Gibson said:

“The tragedy of baby loss and stillbirth is terrifyingly common with around 6,500 babies dying before or shortly after birth – one baby every hour and a half. Many who are affected feel that they are unable to speak out, which is exactly what Baby Loss Awareness Week hopes to address.

“Anything that we as MPs can do to help with the grieving process is worth considering and I am pleased that in Scotland, we are getting closer to the high standard set by Nordic nations in minimising stillbirths and early infant deaths. Whilst there is much work to be done across the UK, a focus on prevention will be the key to making progress in this area.

“In relaying my own personal experience in Parliament on Baby Loss Awareness Week, I hope to enable more people will be able to speak out about the impact baby loss has.”