On Saturday 31st October, Aude Boubaker-Calder, the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Dunfermline, spoke in favour of the motion calling the Scottish government to work and act on the creation of separate perinatal loss facilities during the Scottish Liberal Democrats Autumn conference.
Today, there are 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in loss and 1 in every 238 pregnancies ends in stillbirth in Scotland. Unfortunately, hospital care for the bereaved parents is still associate in Maternity and delivery wards.
Aude Boubaker-Calder has said: “It is dreadful for the mental health of those who lost a child, having to walk down a ward with happy families around celebrating their new addition(s) which can be really distressing.
“As a mum-to-be, I have had to come into the maternity ward in an emergency with my husband and waited with anguish for the results to see if my baby was fine. I found this distressing to be around fully pregnant mothers or with their infant child. I cannot imagine how I would have been if I had lost my baby.”
"Actions speak louder than words and the Scottish Government has been failing families who have lost their children due to miscarriage and stillbirth. The new Scottish Liberal Democrat policy, which I spoke in favour of this weekend, will ensure that families who face this tragedy will not have the increased suffering that they currently often face. They will also get the appropriate support"
Motion was as follows:
Miscarriage and Stillbirth in Scotland
Conference notes that:
1. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth.
2. 1 in every 238 pregnancies ends in stillbirth in Scotland.
3. Currently, hospital care associated with perinatal loss is delivered on labour wards. 4. Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark has a unit dedicated to perinatal loss.
Conference further notes that:
1. On 8th October, the Scottish Parliament's Public Petition Committee considered a petition calling for maternity departments to have dedicated facilities for unexpected pregnancy complications.
2. The Scottish Government's response, whilst comprehensively laying out the current position on the care of those experiencing pregnancy loss in Scotland, did not directly address the proposal advocated by the petition.
Conference believes that:
1. For those who experience perinatal loss, residence in a labour ward can contribute to the devastating effect on their mental health.
2. The Aarhus University Hospital model of supporting families through perinatal loss could be one to learn from.
Conference reaffirms the Scottish Liberal Democrats' commitment to:
1. Increased investment in NHS staff and services.
2. Prioritising mental health protection wherever possible in public policy.
Conference calls on the Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament to work for:
1. Dedicated facilities for perinatal loss, with a standard of care equivalent to that provided to patients undergoing labour and delivery.
2. Comprehensive mental health support for families affected by perinatal loss.
3. A public health campaign to break down the stigma around perinatal loss and open up conversation.