British MP tells of miscarriage during Covid-19 pandemic

Olivia Blake says the UK government should do more to ensure that no more women have to go through the trauma on their own

Olivia Blake, of the opposition Labour Party, said she was forced to tell her partner in a car park that she had lost their baby. Parliament Live TV
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A British MP revealed on Thursday that she went through a “very difficult” miscarriage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Olivia Blake, of the opposition Labour Party, said she was forced to tell her partner in the hospital car park after being told she had lost their baby.

Ms Blake had to enter the hospital alone because of coronavirus restrictions.

She told her story to MPs for the first time during an emotional Westminster Hall debate on baby loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The British government should do more to ensure that no more women have a similar experience, Ms Blake said.

The MP also wrote to the Health Minister Matt Hancock to ask him to rethink Covid-19 rules on hospital visitors, which say people who have had a miscarriage must attend scans and appointments alone.

Ms Blake highlighted how common still births are. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage and 14 stillbirths happen in Britain every day, she said.

“I first raised the issues of maternity services back in June because I heard from my constituents concerns about these issues," she said.

“Little did I know that I would be experiencing a miscarriage in August and having to go through some of the issues that my constituents had raised with me – going to A&E, my partner having to wait in the car park, getting confused and muddled about my dates, being unable to have a hug, someone to hold my hand or support to hear the news that I was having a miscarriage.

“It was a very difficult, difficult situation and one that I want no one else to have to go through.

“No one should have to hear this news on their own.”

After a brief pause to wipe her tears and compose herself, Ms Blake said: “Receiving bad news on your own is not only incredibly traumatic and challenging, but then having to go and repeat that news to your partner in a car park is another level of difficult.

“At a point when you are struggling to process the information being given to you, it is impossible to take in everything that has been raised with you or answer any of your partners’ questions when you get into the car.

“No one should be put in that position but too many people have been.

"Whilst I welcome the government’s change in advice and guidance on allowing partners to scans and appointments, it is currently not enough to improve access.

“I urge the minister to do more and not assume that the job is done on this.”