Awareness (noun): Concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development
I’ve been thinking about what to do for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020. Last year (was it really only a year ago?), I outed myself on Facebook as a member of the Miscarriage Club, by writing a post which I now consider to be my first ever baby loss blog. This generated a wave of support, awareness and solidarity which was really overwhelming, but perhaps most importantly, it gave me the courage to start writing my Mumoirs.
I’ve been doing my best to raise awareness of baby loss since launching this blog in June and my overarching message is this:
Look! This has happened to me, but it’s happening to so many others too, you have no idea. But why’s it hiding in the woodwork? Why aren’t we talking and supporting each other openly? It is not brave to talk about your significant life events, it is natural and important to acknowledge sadness as well as happiness: It is ok, to not be ok.
I haven’t saved anything ‘special’ for this week as living with baby loss is my life. I’ve been writing honestly and openly throughout, so I have nothing brand-new to hit you with. Instead, I’ve been thinking about how different things resonate with different people. While I’ve been doing my best to raise awareness via my words, perhaps numbers or statistics work better for you?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll bloody love a quiz. Sadly this is not going to tell you which dreamboat you’re destined to marry when you grow up, but it will test your knowledge on something which – I hope you agree – is far more important.
So here it is, grab a pen and paper. Seven questions for seven days of focused awareness. Seven months, today, since Summer was born and seven months since she died.
Q1: Recurrent pregnancy loss is the loss of multiple pregnancies before:
A) The 12th week
B) The 20th week
C) The 24th week
Q2: How many babies were miscarried in the UK, each day in 2018?
Q3: Recurrent pregnancy loss affects what percentage of couples trying to conceive?
Q4: There were 731,213 births registered in the UK in 2018. How many neonatal deaths were there?
Q5: What is the estimated number of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies in the UK each year?
A) 250,000 miscarriages, 11,000 ectopic pregnancies
B) 200,000 miscarriages, 21,000 ectopic pregnancies
C) 150,000 miscarriages, 31,000 ectopic pregnancies
Q6: In the UK, how many babies are stillborn every day?
Q7: During 2015-17 in the UK, how many women per 100,000 died due to causes associated with pregnancy during pregnancy or soon after?
Q1: B Recurrent pregnancy loss is the loss of multiple pregnancies before the 20th week.
This surprised me, I would have thought it was first trimester losses or the magic 24th week milestone. I never knew Summer would get lumped in with BoC and My Baby.
Q2: A In 2018, 515 babies were miscarried each day in the UK.
BoCcy, you do count. I just hate that this is the way that others count you.
Q3: B Recurrent pregnancy loss affects 1-2% of couples.
Oh the irony: James and I have hit that top percentile again, reluctantly this time.
Q4: C There were 2,131 neonatal deaths in the UK in 2018.
It hurts me to know that Summer will be counted in the 2020 figure. I really, really hope this number has fallen since 2018.
Q5: A Tommy’s estimates that there are 250,000 miscarriages and 11,000 ectopic pregnancies in the UK each year.
If that’s not depressing enough, I’ve just realised that I have had a miscarriage in 2018, 2019 and 2020. And here was me hoping that 2021 was going to be a fresh start.
Q6: C 1 in every 250 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth in the UK.
That’s 8 babies every day. That’s 8 bereaved families created from stillbirths every single day. That’s 8 too many.
Q7: B 209 women died during or up to 6 weeks after pregnancy between 2015-2017 – this equates to 9.2 women per 100,000 who died due to causes associated with pregnancy, during pregnancy or soon after.
I’ve included this statistic, because although I didn’t die, a part of me really did. How to empathise? Imagine your living child died.
I hope that this blog has opened your eyes and hearts, that little bit more. I am just one person writing about the heartache. Look at the numbers, do the maths, imagine the pain.
For more baby loss statistics in the UK, please click here.
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