We were very pleased to present at this year’s ‘Transforming Loss Conference‘, where Prof Jeannette Littlemore and Dr Sheelagh McGuinness discussed ‘Understanding, informing and supporting choices made by people who have experienced miscarriage, termination and stillbirth’
Formerly known as the ‘Uncertainty and loss in maternity and neonatal care conference’, this year the conference was again hosted by Bliss, Sands and The Royal College of Midwives.
The one-day conference is aimed at all those working in and around maternity and neonatal care, with a focus on educating the workforce to better help and support parents at times of critical illness, loss and bereavement.
How do you find the right language to communicate with those who are experiencing bereavement – especially those who have experienced miscarriage, termination and stillbirth?
For this year’s Baby Loss Awareness week, Prof Jeannette Littlemore talked about her the Death Before Birth project, and considered how we help ‘street crossers’?
See the video here.
Many thanks to the team at A Natural Undertaking for working with us on this and welcoming us to film at their premises in Kings Heath.
Back in October 2018, the Death Before Birth team were delighted to be invited to contribute to The Legacy of Leo as part of the ‘It Still Takes a Village’ blog series.
The Legacy of Leo site, run by Jess, is an important and very useful forum which seeks to provide an honest account of baby loss, stillbirth, miscarriage and pregnancy after loss. You can also engage with Jess on twitter, on which she runs a baby loss hour on Tuesday evenings with the hashtag #babylosshour.
Dr Karolina Kuberska and Dr Sarah Turner, post-doctoral research fellows on the Death Before Birth project, have guest edited a special section of the Women’s Studies International Forum. Motivated by the work undertaken as part of the DBB project, Karolina and Sarah have produced this section in the hopes of ‘capturing the tensions and frictions inherent in the ambivalent nature of every pregnancy loss.’
Read their introduction to the section here,
List of articles in the special section:
Leah Eades, ‘Social realities, biological realities: The 24-week foetus in contemporary English abortion activism.’
Maria Verdaguer, ‘Mothering cancer: Maternal subjectivity and the status of the foetus in a case of cervical ectopic pregnancy.’
Samantha Murphy, ‘”I’d failed to produce a baby and I’d failed to notice when the baby was in distress”: The social construction of bereaved motherhood.’
Caroline Lafarge, Sophia Rosman, Isabelle Ville, ‘Pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: Ambivalence at the heart of women’s experience.’
Deborah Davidson, Gayle Letherby, ‘Use of the internet and grillwork in perinatal loss: Motivations, methodologies and meaning making.’
Iva Šmídová, ‘The Czech intimate presence of perinatal loss in the Post-Socialist absence of institutionalised humanity.’
As part of this blog, we invite readers who have experienced pregnancy loss or stillbirth to share their stories with us. You can submit your story on our Share Your Experiences page.
We’re very grateful to Yam for getting in touch with her experience. Thank you, Yam, and we wish you all the best.
I was diagnosed with early menopause aged 17 from a ceasing of periods aged 11. At 20, I took a year out from the University of Birmingham for medical investigations which concluded that I could only have children via egg donation or adoption. Seven years later I was diagnosed privately with mild but complex post traumatic stress.
Daisychain is a wonderful charity led by medical practitioners in London but it took 18 years to go to my first conference and meet others like me. Through the network, I learned of telephone counselling by someone who had received appropriate counselling but the result was one of acceptance. While this may be appropriate for some or the majority of women, for an eleven year old, this is dismissal by society of a right to family life. I assume on the practicalities of cost benefit.
I am now 41 and accept whole heartedly that I may not have children but still break out in stress around the topic such as a cold sore reaction recently to a family supported visit to my new nephew.
This project may be focused on pregnancy loss but I write to raise awareness of societal attitudes and affects of childlessness. I appreciate that there are many children needing adoption. I don’t think that is appropriate for my life experience. Thank you for this opportunity.