Kate Middleton meets bereaved families about losing babies as they share tragic stories
Kate Middleton met bereaved families about the impact of losing a baby during a visit to a miscarriage research centre today.
The Duchess of Cambridge spent time at the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology, at Imperial College in London this afternoon.
She marked Baby Loss Awareness Week by meeting families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
The Duchess was introduced to Obiele and Nii-Addy Laryea who lost two babies in pregnancy before coming to a Tommy’s clinic in London, where 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.
Kate also met Sarah and Adam Carrick who had their first son Brodie in 2015, but then experienced four miscarriages in quick succession.
They were referred to Tommy’s and welcomed Ari last year.
The Duchess then heard from Shema Tariq who lost her first son Altair due to a rare placenta condition.
Following ground-breaking treatment from Tommy’s in Manchester, she welcomed second son Faris in December 2018 and daughter Lyra in April this year.
At the research centre, Kate also spoke to scientists about the work that national charity Tommy’s are doing to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
Kate was pictured wearing a lab coat and a blue floral face mask as she met researchers to discuss the work they do.
Under the lab coat, she wore a navy blue Emilia Wickstead dress for the occasion.
The Duchess was told about coronavirus trials that are currently taking place at the research centre, which aim to better understand the risks of the virus to pregnant women and their babies.
Staff from Tommy’s and Sands – a charity providing support to bereaved parents – talked about the importance of emotional support for the whole family and the help they offer to anyone affected by baby loss.
The Duchess was presented with a special Tommy’s candle, designed by Plum & Ashby, to allow her to take part in the global Wave of Light event to mark the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week at 7pm on Thursday.
Candles will be lit across the world to remember all babies lost, and people can join in by sharing their candle on social media using #WaveOfLight.
Professor Phillip Bennett, director of the Institute and Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research at Imperial, said afterwards: “One in four women experience miscarriage at least once in their reproductive lifetime, and most never find out why because healthcare professionals often simply don’t know; this can and must change.
“By finding the root causes of miscarriage, we can take steps to stop it from happening.
“For example, we know that around half of all early miscarriages are not due to genetic abnormalities, so there must be underlying causes that we can treat.”
Baby Loss Awareness Week, which is held annually from October 9 to October 15, is an opportunity to mark the lives of babies lost in pregnancy, at birth or soon after birth.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK, according to Tommy’s.
In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth.
Each year, there are around 250,000 miscarriages and 11,000 ectopic pregnancies, while 3,000 babies are stillborn and 2,000 die shortly after birth.
Kate is Patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Nursing Now 2020 campaign, which aims to raise the profile of nursing, improve the lives of women and strengthen local economies.
The Duchess, mum to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, shadowed midwives and consultants at Kingston Hospital’s maternity unit in south-west London in 2019.
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