Kate Middletons tribute to inspirational parents who suffer miscarriage or stillbirth – Mirror Online

Loading ....

The Duchess of Cambridge has paid tribute to “inspirational” bereaved parents helping scientists understand the reasons behind their tragic losses.

To mark Baby Loss Awareness Week this week, Kate visited a London research centre to hear about the work that national charity Tommy’s are doing to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

In the UK, it is estimated that one in four pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth.

Tommy’s funds pioneering medical research to discover the causes of baby loss and helps women at every stage of their pregnancy journey, supporting them and their partners with expert information and care.

At the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology at Imperial College London, which is part of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, the Duchess met Clare Worgan who described the day her daughter Alice was stillborn as “the best thing that ever happened to me and also the worst thing that ever happened to me”. 

Kate met researchers to learn about the work they do to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth

But from her experience Clare decided to change her life completely from a project manager for a firm of civil engineers to become a midwife owing to the exemplary care she had received in hospital in September 2017. 

She said: “We spent those three days cramming in a lifetime’s worth of memories,” she said. 

“When she was born, she was absolutely perfect. Her birth was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. And also the worst thing that ever happened to me.

“When we went home our lives had been turned upside down. We had been devastated. 

“A week after Alice’s funeral I decided I wanted to become a midwife, because the care I received was so amazing. I wanted to do what they had done for me.”

The Duchess met families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth
(Image: Getty Images)
Kate Middleton visited the research centre today

Her story – and how she was inspired by her own experience to help other women suffering the same loss – was one of several moving accounts the duchess heard as she visited a research centre in west London helping families who have lost babies.

The duchess told her: “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly. 

“A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organisations, is being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. 

“It is so inspirational.”

Clare from Worthing, Sussex, now works for the bereavement charity Sands training health professionals how to help families when the worst happens. 

She said: “It is difficult for anyone to know what to say when a baby dies. But it is really hard for doctors and midwives.

“Alice literally changed my life. I feel her short little life is having quite a big impact.”

She heard about the work national charity Tommy’s is doing

Kate also heard from couples who after suffering multiple miscarriages have gone on to have healthy babies due to the expert guidance of Professor Andrew Shennan at St Thomas’s Hospital. 

The Duchess, a mum-of-three, was taken aback after hearing how Obiélé Laryea, 37, and her partner Nii-Addy Addy [correct], 40, were left to experience the heartbreak of a second misscarriage rather than being offered a cervical stitch which are not routinely available on the NHS.  

The duchess, she said, was “quite thrown”  after speaking to Obiélé, who added: “You could almost see it in her face, (she said) ‘Are you OK?’

“I’m fine. I sometimes think to myself, if I hadn’t had the second miscarriage, I would not have heard about Tommy’s.”

Speaking of Professor Shennan, whose London clinic is admired the world over, she told Kate: “He actually said to me, “How many children do you want?’ I was like, ‘Oh!’”

She added afterwards: “I was like, ‘Four, ideally. But I will settle for three.’”

She wore a blue floral face mask

They now have a son, Tetteh-Kwei, two, and Ms Laryea is 17 weeks pregnant once more. “Professor Shennan worked his magic again,” she said. “We have yet to see how this pregnancy goes, but it is looking really good.”

To end the visit the duchess was given a Tommy’s candle so she can take part in the global “wave of light” to mark the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week, marked this year from October 9-15. 

Tommy’s said there are around 250,000 miscarriages a year in the UK and 11,000 ectopic pregnancies. Another 3,000 babies are stillborn and 2,000 die shortly after birth. 

Professor Phillip Bennett, director of the research centre, said: “One in four women experience miscarriage at least once in their reproductive lifetime, and most never find out why because healthcare professionals often simply don’t know: this can and must change.

“By finding the root causes of miscarriage, we can take steps to stop it from happening.

“Around half of all early miscarriages are not due to genetic abnormalities, so there must be underlying causes that we can treat.”

 

Loading ....