Baby Loss

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 13th October 2016.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Conservative, Colchester 12:37 pm, 13th October 2016

It is an honour to co-chair the all-party parliamentary group on baby loss and a privilege to follow Patricia Gibson, who is an active member of the group.

I should like to share some statistics, some of which have already been shared with the House, but repetition is important in this case, so that we have a real understanding of the scale. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. One in 200 babies are stillborn in the UK. About 15 babies die each day either before, during or shortly after birth in the UK. There are about 3,500 stillbirths every year in the UK. Half of all stillbirths are said to be preventable. The rate of stillbirth in the UK is higher than in Poland, Croatia and Estonia. The lives of 2,000 babies could be saved every year if the UK matched the best survival rates in Europe.

It is a great honour to follow all those right hon. and hon. Members who have spoken so far and shared such harrowing accounts of what has happened to them. In particular, I should like to praise—I do not want to appear patronising in any way—and to say how proud I am of Vicky Foxcroft, who is a good friend of mine, for giving her account in such a powerful and emotional way. I want to make it absolutely clear that I genuinely believe that we are doing something very special in the Chamber today. We are breaking a silence; we are breaking a taboo; and we are showing parents up and down this country that it is okay to talk about the babies and children we have lost. In fact, it is more than okay; where we feel that we are able to, we should. I hope that people across this country have seen today that there is no subject that we will not debate and talk about in the mother of all Parliaments if doing so will improve the lives of others.