Baby loss certificates will help bereaved parents but more needs to be done, says charity

close up cropped shot of unrecognizable crying young woman holding paper tissues in hands and nervously rummaging through them at home upset suffering female crying alone sitting on bed in bedroom
Baby loss certificates introduced in Englanddikushin

Baby loss certificates are now available in England for parents who have experienced a pregnancy loss before 24 weeks.

Previously, there was no formal recognition for bereaved parents.

The new scheme - which is free, voluntary and does not require medical proof - is hoped to offer comfort to families.

'We know that people can feel very isolated after pregnancy loss. Recognising their experience and allowing them a way to record it formally through a certificate sends a valuable message that they - and their babies - are not forgotten,' Kath Abrahams, Chief Executive of Tommy's, the pregnancy research and baby loss charity, told Cosmopolitan.

'The certificates will be available to those who went through pregnancy loss [some] years ago and may have lived for a long time with their grief, as well as to those whose bereavement is more recent,' she added.

Under the new scheme, you can apply for a certificate if you meet the following criteria

  • You have experienced a loss under 24 weeks gestation since 1 September 2018

  • Are at least 16 years of age

  • Were living in England at the time of the loss

  • Currently live in England

  • Are one of the baby’s parents or surrogate

While the initiative is welcomed by Tommy's, who were asked to help find families willing to trial the new certificates before the scheme went live on 22 February, more needs to be done to formally record losses before 24 weeks.

Abrahams says: 'We cannot begin to tackle the wider problem of baby loss without a Government commitment to gather and record UK-wide miscarriage statistics.

'Without data, miscarriage remains a largely hidden problem and isn’t prioritised, despite the tens of thousands of families affected by it every year.

'For an organisation like Tommy’s, which is committed to understanding and preventing early pregnancy loss, this lack of data stands in the way of improvements to services for women and birthing people who have experienced miscarriage.'

She added: 'Our team at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research is piloting a ‘graded model’ of miscarriage care, which ensures that people are offered support and appropriate care after their first miscarriage, rather than having to wait until they have had three consecutive miscarriages.

'We are pleased that Ministers have publicly supported the pilot project and committed to considering a roll-out of the graded model as part of their response to last year’s Pregnancy Loss Review.

'But until there is a concerted drive to make sure we know who has experienced miscarriage, and when and where, it will remain almost impossible to implement this policy with any confidence that we are reaching all the women and birthing people who would benefit from it.'

If you're looking for support or more information about premature births, stillbirths or miscarriage, Tommy's have a free helpline 0800 0147 800 and be contacted via email on There's also a Facebook group.

You Might Also Like