Tommy's news, 10/01/2017
Last night’s episode of Coronation Street showed the heartbreaking moment when Kym Marsh’s character Michelle and her husband Steve were told that Michelle had gone into labour at 23 weeks.
The couple were told that their baby would not be formed properly at such an early stage of pregnancy and would most likely be unable to survive.
If you have suffered this pain and need more support, you can read our information pages about miscarriage and stillbirth here.
This storyline is particularly powerful due to Kym’s own history of baby loss. Kym lost her baby boy Archie at 21 weeks in 2009.
Talking to Ok! Magazine, Kym said that she wanted to film these difficult scenes to raise awareness of the problem of baby loss and the taboo that still exists around it.
We really admire Kym’s bravery in filming these scenes and think her acting in last night’s episode was particularly powerful and sensitive.
Kym said that the scenes were ‘challenging’ but that she wanted to help other women by filming this episode.
She has been widely applauded across social media for doing the storyline after her own experiences.
For some people, watching this episode was simply too painful after having experienced losses of their own.
Many people said that raising more awareness of this painful subject is important and praised the decision to run this story but found the episode hard to watch.
Last night’s Coronation Street has also got people talking about how we should talk about the loss of a baby at 23 weeks.
In technical terms, a baby lost at this stage of pregnancy is classed as a late miscarriage. But after 23 weeks of pregnancy and then giving birth to their baby, many women prefer to use the word stillbirth to describe their loss.
Some fans have been angered by the ‘insensitive’ use of the Bay City Roller’s hit Bye Bye Baby in the baby shower scene before Michelle is rushed to the hospital.
We know that reminders of your loss can be heartbreaking and TV series can sometimes fall short of doing justice to what you have experienced.
We also know that for directors, dealing with such sensitive content can be a real challenge but think it is so important that they do.
Whilst we must ensure that baby loss is given the respect it deserves, we think it is fantastic to see high profile TV programmes continue to shed light on the issue of baby loss.
If you’ve been affected by this storyline and need support, our midwives are here 9-5pm, Monday-Friday and are trained in bereavement support. It is free to call them on 0800 0147 800, or you can send an email to [email protected].
Tommy’s previously worked with EastEnders on a miscarriage storyline for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2016. You can read more about what we did and see the videos exploring thoughts and feelings around babyloss here.
Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy can be heartbreaking. If you need any support or advice, you can read our information and support pages about miscarriage and stillbirth here.
If you need support, please don't suffer alone. We have details of organisations who can help.
You and your partner have both experienced a miscarriage but you may react to it very differently. Everyone has their own way of grieving and it helps to accept and respect those differences.
You might be eager to try again, or not quite ready to think about the future – here are some things to consider when planning your next pregnancy.