Make a donation
Thirty years ago, women who had lost their baby were sometimes given a live child to hold, to help them ‘get over it’. Or the stillborn baby would be subject to the ‘rugby pass’: he or she would be taken quickly by the midwife and disposed of, unseen by the mother. Women weren’t even told the sex of the child they had lost.
But it’s still regarded as a historical issue …
This is due to the conspiracy of silence that surrounds stillbirths. Few people realise that one in 200 pregnant women will lose a child after 24 weeks of pregnancy. That’s 4,000 women every year leaving the hospital without their precious baby. It’s about ten times more common than cot death. Yet people know far more about cot death than stillbirths – everyone knows about the importance of laying a baby to sleep on its back, for example.
Up until the day Mason was born I was having the perfect pregnancy. I had recently started feeling kicks and I was loving being pregnant. Then Mason made an unexpected arrival at just 25 weeks pregnancy. Nobody has ever been able to us why. He weighed just 1lb 10 and we were warned that he only had a 50% chance of survival. Even if he did survive we faced a long, hard battle ahead.