Sturgeon to investigate baby loss certificates after opening up over 'awful' experience

First Minsiter Nicola Sturgeon
First Minsiter Nicola Sturgeon

NICOLA Sturgeon will investigate introducing baby loss certificates in Scotland as she revealed she always marks baby loss awareness week personally.

The First Minister has previously spoken out about her experience with miscarriage but has now told MSPs about “how awful it is to lose a baby very early on”.

It came after she was asked to mirror the UK Government introducing pregnancy loss certificates to recognise a lost baby born before 24-weeks.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Conservative MSP Graham Simpson highlighted a constituent who told him her “daughter does not exist in the eyes of the law”, adding that “it breaks my heart every single day”.

Mr Simpson highlighted the woman, who was present in the public gallery, who “has an eight-year-old son but she’s lost three other children”.

The Tory MSP added: “In April last year, she went for her 20-week scan and found her baby daughter had no heartbeat.

“Heather had to give birth to little Georgia and then lay her to rest a few days later. But because Georgia was born at less than 24 weeks, she has no birth certificate.

“Heather told me ‘one of my children has a birth certificate, the other does not’.

“‘My daughter does not exist in the eyes of the law and it breaks my heart every single day. I’ve held two children in my arms so they should both exist in the eyes of the law.’”

Mr Simpson said: “The UK Government has launched a new initiative which will provide parents with a pregnancy loss certificate if their baby’s born before 24 weeks.

“My question for the First Minister is will she ensure the same happens here?”

The First Minister confirmed she will investigate whether baby loss certificates can be introduced in Scotland.

She said: “Baby loss awareness week is a very important event every year and it is one that I always mark personally as well as in my role as First Minister, for very personal reasons.

“I absolutely understand the feelings and sentiments that have been narrated here today.

“I know from personal experience how awful it is to lose a baby very early on, and I know how deep the desire is to have that lost baby recognised in a variety of ways.

“I think that the suggestion around pregnancy loss certificates is an important one and I give the undertaking that we will look very seriously at that in Scotland too.”