RCM welcomes focus on pregnancy loss

on 22 July 2023 RCM Maternity Services Midwifery Midwives Midwife Shortage Safe high quality care Government NHS Women Bereavement Care Infant Mortality Stillbirth Miscarriage

The Royal College of Midwives has today welcomed the enhanced support for those who have experienced pregnancy loss in England. The announcement comes as the Department for Health & Social Care responded to the independent pregnancy loss review, les by Zoe Clark-Coates and Samantha Collinge.

Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director Midwife at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said:

“The loss of a pregnancy, at any stage, can be absolutely devastating. For many women and families, the ability to have an official acknowledgment of their pregnancy will give them some comfort, and we welcome the Government’s commitment to provide a certificate of loss for those who experience miscarriage in the first 23 weeks of pregnancy.”

While broadly supportive of the measures set out by the Government, the RCM has expressed disappointment not to see better counselling and perinatal mental health provision for those who have experienced pregnancy loss. Ahead of the publication of its own roadmap for perinatal mental health next month, the RCM believes this is fundamental to the support of women and families who have experienced pregnancy loss.

Birte continued:

“There are some excellent examples of bereavement support across the country, but perinatal mental health is too often the poor relation in maternity services. Better support, including following pregnancy loss, could have a hugely positive impact on women and families, but sadly it is often sacrificed because of a lack of funding and staff shortages. The Government needs to act now to provide more and better training for staff, and to ring-fence resources for this vital area of maternity care.”

The measures announced today also include better support for women during miscarriage, particularly for those who miscarry at home. This is a welcome step, says the RCM, in ensuring women are treated with dignity and respect.


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editor 

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team.  We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.