The Duchess of Cambridge visited Tommy’s yesterday, to show her support for Baby Loss Awareness Week. Catherine was given a tour of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research site at Imperial College London by the Director, Professor Phillip Bennett. The Duchess witnessed the work being carried out to help prevent miscarriages and stillbirths.
To mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, Catherine met with parents who have gone through miscarriages and stillbirths. The week is dedicated to providing connection, recognition for grieving parents, as well as increasing the understanding of the impact of baby loss.
Mother-of-three met Clare Worgan told Catherine about the day her daughter was stillborn. She described it as the best and worst day of her life, but explained that the grief allowed her to re-train and offer help to other women who experienced the same loss. Clare now works for the charity SANDs, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
Duchess of Cambridge meets families during a visit to the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology, at Imperial College.
The Duchess told Ms Worgan: “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly. A lot of the research being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. It is so inspirational.”
Each year in the UK, there are around 250,000 miscarriages and 11,000 ectopic pregnancies, while 3,000 babies are stillborn and 2,000 die shortly after birth. This is 1 in 4 pregnancies that result in loss.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who wore a floral face mask, also met Obiélé and Nii-Addy Laryea, who lost two babies in pregnancy before eventually attending a Tommy’s clinic. The the team performed a cervical stitch operation that kept their now two-year-old son, Tetteh-Kwei, safe in the womb until he was old enough to survive.
Obiélé told the Duchess he story; after her first miscarriage, when she became pregnant again, the doctors refused her request to have a cervical stitch to prevent another loss. When they finally did, it was too late.
The Duchess was ‘quite thrown’ that Obiélé was allowed to have a second miscarriage.
Kate also got the chance to don a lab coat, and take a look at slides under the microscope. The Royal saw cells from a reproductive tract on her visit to the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology.
She asked: “Is this a good sample, or a bad sample?”
Some footage of Kate at the centre. pic.twitter.com/mIlquwPCIo
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) October 14, 2020
The team laughed and told her it was a good set of cells.
Tommy’s chief executive Jane Brewin said: “Baby loss is often dismissed as ‘one of those things’ and something that ‘wasn’t meant to be’. This fatalistic attitude contributes to a failure to bring about change. Baby loss is one of the most heart-breaking things any family can experience – and one that’s endured all too frequently, but often quietly, because of this persistent stigma in society.”
We (Tommys professors) met the Duchess of Cambridge today. She has a genuine interest and passion for baby loss awareness and Tommys work. I was impressed. pic.twitter.com/Qhq6RVYWwQ
— Andrew H Shennan OBE (@OBSevidence) October 14, 2020
The Duchess was given a special Tommy’s candle, designed by Plum & Ashby, to allow her to take part in the Wave of Light event to mark the end of Baby Loss Awareness week on Thursday 15th October.