As Baby Loss Awareness Week draws to a close, Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart has called on the Scottish Government to step up the mental health support available for those who experience baby loss.
Around 1 in 4 women are estimated to have experienced this.
The Scottish Government’s Women’s Health Plan features a commitment to ensure dedicated facilities for baby loss in hospitals, following a campaign run by Louise Caldwell.
Ms Wishart, who was a key supporter of this campaign, is now calling to see this commitment quickly backed up with mental health support for women and their families.
Commenting, Beatrice Wishart said:
“The experience of losing a baby is something many women and families share. Yet even though it’s so common, many women and their families still don’t receive the support they need to navigate that devastating experience.
“The guilt and the ‘what-ifs’ can be crushing. The toll on a person’s mental health can be life-altering. It’s astonishing that in some cases, women have been sent home with just a leaflet and no follow up. That’s just not good enough.
“I am glad that the Scottish Government has accepted the need for dedicated facilities for those who experience complications with their pregnancy. It is utterly tragic to hear of women who have just experienced such a tragic loss being put back on to the same ward as happy mothers with their newborns. Now, this commitment urgently needs to be accompanied with new, comprehensive mental health support for both women and their families.
“That means access to specialised support, which can be followed up for as long as it is needed. It is vital that partners are included in this too.
“Of course, nothing can take away the pain of losing a baby. But nobody should feel as though they have to go through this alone.”