MPs to debate 'silent killer' in Baby Loss Awareness Week

Stillbirth, miscarriage and other forms of baby loss are to be debated in the House of Commons for the first time later.

Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach, who lost her five-day-old son Sam in 2009, will open the session after describing baby loss as a "silent killer" which has been "brushed under the carpet".

The member for Eddisbury said the stillbirth rate in Britain is "really poor" when compared with other countries, particularly in the European Union.

"This is an area in which I hope we can achieve real change and which has touched many families' lives from miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death," she said.

The debate coincides with Baby Loss Awareness Week, a drive by several charities to raise awareness in the UK.

Sands, an organisation that supports those affected by stillbirth and neonatal death, said it is "not a rare tragedy".

According to the charity around 10 babies a day were stillborn in 2014 and around a third of deaths occur at term - after 37 weeks gestation.

The Government aims to halve the stillbirth rate by 2030.

Ms Sandbach is co-chairman of an all-party group campaigning for bereavement care for parents who have lost a child, along with Will Quince, whose son was stillborn in October 2014.

In September the Tory MP for Colchester made a heartfelt speech to the Commons in which he called on the Government to introduce statutory leave for bereaved parents.

Ahead of Thursday's debate Mr Quince said it was not a "women-only issue" and that mental health support was required for parents trying for another child.

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