As this year gives way to the next, we send you all our very best wishes for 2015.
For those of you who are coping with loss or anxiety, we hope that you find the love and support you need to help you through. May 2015 be a year which brings your hopes and dreams closer.
For those of you celebrating a new life, we hope it brings you continued joy.
For our friends and supporters, we thank you for your kindness and generosity during 2014 and hope you will continue to support our very special charity in the year to come.
The Miscarriage Association team
A report* published yesterday highlights the importance of flu jabs for pregnant women. MBRRACE-UK’s report on maternal deaths and morbidity studied the cases of 321 women who died in pregnancy or shortly after birth between 2009 and 2012. They found that 1 in 11 died from flu and more than half of these deaths could have been prevented by the flu jab.
Professor Alan Cameron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), commented:
“… Maternal deaths in the UK are rare [but] … the report highlights the importance of pregnant women having the flu vaccination when it is offered to them. This prevents poor outcomes for both mother and baby.
“Much work has been done to provide the flu vaccine to pregnant women and it is vital that they and the health professionals involved in maternity care have the vaccination to protect themselves against seasonal influenza.”
If you are worried about whether the flu jab is safe in early pregnancy, the answer is yes, unless your doctor advises otherwise (because of a medical condition). The evidence shows that the risks of flu to mother and baby are much higher than the risks of the vaccine. See http://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/flu-vaccine-pregnancy.
You can also read Public Health England’s guidance for doctors here.
Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care: Lessons learned to inform future maternity care from the 2009-2012 UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal deaths and Morbidity.
At this time of the year, as the days get shorter, our minds start to turn to the upcoming holiday season. It’s traditionally a time of celebration, but we know how hard it can be for those who’ve experienced a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.
The M.A.’s Lights of Love tree is a memorial to babies loved and lost in pregnancy. On our online tree, each star holds a message of remembrance to a baby or babies lost through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy – creating a beautiful place to mark those brief lives.
We also have a small tree in our Wakefield office. Covered in tiny white lights, the tree offers an alternative memorial spot – or you might like to use both. You can read about both options here.
Whether or not you choose to use the trees, please do remember that we’re here to offer support via phone, email, our online forum, Facebook and local support volunteers.
We’re very pleased to be able to share our Annual Report for 2013/14.
In its pages you won’t find any grey suits, but you will find:
- personal stories and reflections from people who have been through miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy
- comments from experts involved in miscarriage research and care
- a gallop through our activities and achievements and the people who made it happen
- a review of our finances and the many supporters who helped achieve the bottom line
- our plans for the years ahead
If you’d like to see more detail, please read our financial statements, including the Trustees’ report.
An ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside of the womb (the
word “ectopic” means “out of place”). Between 1 and 2 in 100 pregnancies in the UK are ectopic and it can be a very distressing and frightening experience.
Our new leaflet explains what ectopic pregnancy is, provides clear and up to date information and answers some of the most common questions about both facts and feelings. We hope this will help at what can be a very difficult time.
The leaflet is written for a non-medical audience. Some of you might also be interested to view a short teaching video for GPs and junior doctors, in which Professor Tom Bourne discusses both the medical and emotional aspects of ectopic pregnancy.
Our sincere thanks to Prof Bourne and to the BMJ for allowing us to show it here.
Babyloss Awareness Week, from 9-15 October each year, offers an opportunity for people to mark the brief lives of babies lost in pregnancy, or during or shortly after birth. This year’s event was no exception.
What was exceptional was the number of people who engaged in the event, one way or another, from those who lit candles on 15 October as part of an International Wave of Light, to those who shared those images on social media; those who were brave enough to begin conversations about pregnancy loss to those like Claire Daly and Jessica Zucker, who spoke more openly about the impact it had on them.
Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth or neonatal death – these tiny lives ended almost as soon as they began, but they mattered; lives that were gone far too soon, but not forgotten.
Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, known in the UK as Babyloss Awareness Day. We join with all of those people who are marking the brief lives of babies lost in pregnancy, or during or shortly after birth. We wish you strength and comfort as you remember the lives that should have been.
Some of you may like to join the international Wave of Light. At 7 p.m. tonight (local time), people from around the world will light a candle or candles, creating a Wave of Light in memory of babies who have died too soon.
You may like to visit our Babyloss Awareness gallery or view the video below, which bring together photos from our supporters which reflect their personal experiences of miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy…
You can find out more about the various events and activities, public and private, that mark this special time.
You may also like to read Claire Daly’s article in the Guardian. The paper has also launched a page where women and men can share their experiences if they choose
As we enter Babyloss Awareness Week, all of us at the Miscarriage Association join all of you who use this opportunity to mark the brief lives of babies lost in pregnancy, or during or shortly after birth. We wish you strength and comfort as you remember the lives that should have been.
We invite you to find out more about the various events and activities, public and private, that will mark this special week.
You may also find it helpful to read Claire Daly’s article in the Guardian. The paper has also launched a page where women and men can share their experiences if they choose
From 1 October, an expectant father or the partner (including a same sex partner) of a pregnant woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to two of her ante-natal appointments.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued guidance entitled “Time off to accompany a pregnant woman to ante-natal appointments. Employer guide” (September 2014).
From 1 October 2014, an expectant father or the partner (including same sex) of a pregnant woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to two of her ante-natal appointments. This right was introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014.
This guidance looks at
* who is entitled to time off
* how much time off can be taken
* who has the right if the woman’s husband is not the father of the child (the answer is ‘both’)
* what rights a father has if he is expecting a baby with two different women
* evidence the father will need to provide
* what happens if the employer refuses time off
* victimisation for asserting the right to attend appointments
The guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/351413/bis-14-1063-time-off-to-accompany-a-pregnant-woman-to-ante-natal-appointments-employer-guide.pdf