Tommy’s calls for change as thousands of miscarriages go unrecorded in the UK each year

Our research estimates 1 in 4 of us will experience a pregnancy loss at some point in our lives, but the total number of miscarriages in the UK is currently not recorded. At Tommy’s, we believe this needs to change.
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1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss in the UK, but right now there’s no way of knowing how many people go through the heartbreak of miscarriage. That’s because nobody’s counting – a shocking fact which only 29% of people are aware of.  

It’s only when we know the true scale of miscarriage in the UK that we can get families the support they need, and drive change further, and faster. This is why we’re calling for the government to create a formal register of miscarriage as part of its overhaul to improve care for those who have experienced pregnancy and baby loss.  

We’ve seen some really positive steps in our campaign to improve miscarriage care following the launch of our Miscarriage Matters petition back in March which amassed over 235,000 signatures and was delivered to Parliament by Olivia Blake MP. On top of this, new guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology have since backed the calls for reform, but we know that national data is needed to drive progress. 

Tommy’s CEO Jane Brewin said:
  

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Miscarriage is often dismissed as ‘one of those things’, and parents grieving a much-wanted baby are simply told to try again, with no understanding of the lifelong impact these losses can have.

The lack of national miscarriage records reinforces the message that it doesn’t matter, it’s not important enough to count – and this attitude doesn’t just hurt families going through it, it also holds back the changes needed to spare others that heartbreak. We need to see the true scale of the problem if we’re going to solve it.

To help raise awareness of the impact miscarriage can have on people’s lives, couple Ben Lankester and Bophanie Lun have created a short film,  ‘Who’s Counting’, in the hope of changing the miscarriage story they and many others have experienced. After going through 2 miscarriages in August and December 2020, they were devastated when they found they wouldn’t be formally registered. 

“Miscarriage still feels like a taboo that people won’t talk about. We were devastated when we found out that our miscarriages wouldn’t be included on our medical records. The loss felt disregarded because no one was counting, other than us. In many ways the third miscarriage would be a relief, because you know something will finally be done. We hope our film, ‘Who’s Counting?’, raises awareness of the issue and we hope that one day all miscarriages are counted.”

We’ve created an online record of loss to show the scale of the issue and make sure everyone who’s experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage is counted.