Baby Loss

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:42 am on 13th October 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Antoinette Sandbach Antoinette Sandbach Conservative, Eddisbury 11:42 am, 13th October 2016

I am grateful for that intervention because it makes the point entirely.

Professor Cameron went on:

“Stillbirth rates in the UK remain high and our current data indicate that nearly 1,000 babies a year die or are left severely disabled because of potentially avoidable harm in labour. The emotional cost of these events is immeasurable…When the outcome for parents is the devastating loss of a baby, or a baby born with a severe brain injury, there can be little justification for poor quality reviews. Only by ensuring that local investigations are conducted thoroughly with parental and external input, can we identify where systems need to be improved. Once every baby affected has their care reviewed robustly we can begin to understand the causes of these tragedies.”

The parents who engaged in the digital debate on Twitter earlier this week to raise their concerns about baby loss spoke of the need for third trimester scans and greater consistency of care during the pre-birth period, during labour and following the loss of an infant.

I want to move on to neonatal death. Mr Speaker, as you know, I spoke about my experiences with Sam last year. Parents from around the country wrote to me of their experiences, some dating back many years and others from more recently. One father told me about his son George. He wrote:

“On 7th November my wife and I were delighted when baby George came into our lives, but on the 5th January just days after the festivities our lives were rocked, when our beautiful baby boy passed away in his sleep. Nothing could have prepared us for the hopelessness and feeling of loss, each morning waking up wishing that it was just a bad dream. As we watch the seconds turn into hours, days, weeks and even months, things for us felt hopeless, it was only the knowledge that our other children needed us that kept us from drowning in self-pity.”

George’s father went on that, like other parents,

“I found everyone affected share similar experiences, all wanting to do something, all wanting to make a difference. This is probably why I still feel I should do more, and more is never enough. I am now putting my spare time into raising awareness of sudden infant death syndrome and raising money for charities”.