Despite being a “positive step,” the government’s new proposals to enable pregnancy losses before 24 weeks to be “officially” recognized are “in no way” a replacement for the official recording of miscarriage data, charities have cautioned.
The reform will allow parents the opportunity to record an early pregnancy loss and is described in the Women’s Health Strategy for England, which was released on Wednesday (19 July).
Although a “good step,” organizations have warned that the government’s new measures to allow pregnancy losses before 24 weeks to be “legally” recognized “in no way” replace the official recording of miscarriage data.
The Women’s Health Strategy for England, published on Wednesday, describes how the change would provide parents with the chance to document an early pregnancy loss (19 July).
It follows the recommendation made in the interim results of a pregnancy loss review that was commissioned in 2018 to create a voluntary programme that will provide parents with the choice to register their miscarriage and earn a certificate of acknowledgment.
The certificate is meant to “offer solace and support by certifying a loss.”
According to the approach, it would “not be a formal document but will be a significant commemoration of a life gone.”
“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,” the national director of the Miscarriage Association, a charity that supports those affected by pregnancy loss, said.
The modification will enable parents in England to report miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and molar pregnancies.
When a fertilized egg implants and develops outside of the woman, most frequently in a fallopian tube, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. In this case, the egg won’t mature into a baby, and the mother can experience health issues.
When a sperm fertilizes an “empty egg,” which lacks any genetic information from the mother, it results in a molar pregnancy. A foetus does not grow as a result.
It could also happen if two sperm fertilize a single healthy egg. Additionally, this won’t grow into a child.
A pregnancy loss certificate, according to Derby resident Anna Malnutt, who has experienced three miscarriages, would have “made a significant difference” in her mourning process.
Each of those losses, she added, “was a baby to me as much as the kid I was able to take to term, and having the choice to have this recognized would have meant the world to me.”
“I believed that my losses were interpreted as a physical medical problem for myself, and the lack of recognition of what it meant for me was upsetting.
“These certificates, in my opinion, would be a step in the right direction toward acknowledging the anguish that all individuals dealing with the loss of a baby before 24 weeks truly feel,”
Maternity and infant loss charities Tommy’s has warned that the approach does not close significant data gaps related to miscarriages and pregnancy loss.
This is crucial since the NHS won’t offer testing for an underlying reason until after a family has had three miscarriages.
We must comprehend the full scope of miscarriage in the UK, said Kath Abrahams, chief executive of Tommy’s. Without reliable statistics, it is impossible to determine if the support provided to help avoid loss is adequate or to set realistic goals for lowering the incidence of miscarriages.
“Pregnancy loss certificates are a voluntary practice designed to offer mourning parents essential emotional comfort and recognition. Despite their importance, they do not serve as a replacement for the health services’ formal recording of miscarriage data.
The government has not yet specified when the certifications will be made accessible.
The Miscarriage Association provides its memorial certificates for anybody who would find them helpful for those who a miscarriage has impacted.