Calls for more openness about baby loss after Zara and Mike Tindall announcement

News that Zara Tindall’s pregnancy has ended, will prompt recognition from many women.

Zara and Mike Tindall announced that they had lost their baby, just weeks after revealing they were expecting their second child.

Granddaughter of the Queen, Zara and her husband, former England rugby player Mike Tindall, announced at the end of November they were expecting their second child.

The couple, who live at Gatcombe near Minchinhampton, are parents of daughter Mia, nearly three.

 

Read: Miracle baby Darla’s first Christmas at home

It is thought Zara, 35, would have been about four-months pregnant, and the baby was expected to arrive in late Spring.

But Zara’s experience is sadly one shared by many women.

“Miscarriage is sadly common – around one in four pregnancies ends before 24 weeks of pregnancy, most before 14 weeks. Miscarrying after that time – especially when all looks well at the 12 week scan – is much less common and can come as a real shock to women and their partners,” said Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association

“Whenever a miscarriage happens, though, it is for most parents the loss of a baby and all the hopes, plans and dreams for that child. It can be deeply distressing and it can be very important to have the support and understanding of those around you to help you through.

“The Miscarriage Association recognises the distress of losing a baby in pregnancy and we offer support and information to anyone affected by it. We send our sympathies to Zara and Mike Tindall and wish them gentler times ahead.”

News that Zara Tindall's pregnancy has ended, will prompt recognition from many women. Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
News that Zara Tindall’s pregnancy has ended, will prompt recognition from many women. Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

Eliza Guerrini is a mother two sons and a daughter. She has had five pregnancies, two of which ended in miscarriage. Her youngest son was born just three weeks ago.

“One of the things that is really challenging is that people aren’t aware how common it is , so you can feel very alone and isolated, and not able to talk about how it’s making you feel,” said Eliza, who is a natal hypnotherapist, and runs nurturing retreats for pregnant woman in Sheepscombe near Stroud.

“People fully expect you to ‘get on with life’ and there’s this expectation you can simply ‘try again, ‘” said Eliza, whose company Retreat Yourself has welcomed Olympic swimmer Rebecca Addlington and many other women to her retreat weekends.

Eliza continued; “It’s about mourning the loss of something that had so many potential. That is what I found really challenging. There was this potential, and then suddenly it’s gone. You are so nurtured and cared for by the health services in pregnancy, and by wider society, and then you can feel very abandoned after a miscarriage.”

Eliza added that the loss of pregnancy at any stage, including the early weeks of the first trimester, can be traumatic.

“You still feel that you have lost a baby and all that potential and future,” she said.

Subsequent pregnancies can also be difficult.

“The anxiety levels were massive for me,” said Eliza.

“During my last pregnancy I was very nervous. It’s something that we really do need to find a space to allow women to talk about their experiences.”

Stroud based writer Alice Jolly, lost her daughter Laura, after she was stillborn four months into her pregnancy. Alice went on to suffer four miscarriages.

“I didn’t know anything about stillbirth. But once it’s happened you realise it’s all around you, and that it’s happened to lots of people. It’s a horrible hidden world,” said Alice.

“I thought ‘doesn’t everyone make this harder than it needs to be by not talking about it.’ It’s something that’s very hidden.

“You’re at an age when everyone’s having babies and is at toddler groups and birthday parties. You can’t not do these things and people don’t want a shadow over it.”

It was that lack of openness and finding ways to talk about Laura and the experience of stillbirth that made coping with grief harder.

Alice and her husband Stephen, who had an older son, went on to have a daughter with the help of a surrogate pregnancy in America.

She wrote an award-winning book about her experiences; Dead Babies and Seaside Towns.

“It’s part of the reason I wrote the book. I really felt, why can’t we just talk about this. Why does everything have to be hidden?” she said.

Factfile

• More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage – probably around a quarter of a million in the UK each year.

• Most miscarriages happen in the first three months of pregnancy – but they can happen up to the 24th week. Pregnancy loss from 24 weeks is known as stillbirth.

• Any woman who could conceive could also miscarry – it can happen to anyone.

• Even after several miscarriages, most women have a good chance of a successful pregnancy.

• It is common for women who have miscarried to feel high levels of anxiety in a subsequent pregnancy.

• Most women never know what has caused them to miscarry. Investigations are generally limited to women who have had three or more miscarriages. Even after investigations, in many cases a specific cause is not found.

• The Miscarriage Association is a registered national charity, offering its services across the UK through and responds to over 5,000 calls and e-mails per year from those who have suffered the loss of a baby in pregnancy.

• It offers online support services and a network of telephone volunteers who offer support and understanding from the perspective of having been through miscarriage themselves
Source: gloucestershirelive co uk

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