Scotland set to introduce certificates for pregnancy loss before 24 weeks

Post Thumbnail

The Scottish Government says plans to issue commemorative certificates to parents who have lost a child before 24 weeks are in their final stages.

Earlier this month legislation was passed in England to help people who have experienced early miscarriages, molar or ectopic pregnancies to grieve their losses.

They will soon be able to voluntarily record a pregnancy loss before 24 weeks and receive a certificate of commemoration.

Charities say this will allow more people a “precious and special” opportunity for recognition of their loss.

Now, similar plans for pregnancy loss certificates in Scotland are expected to be announced later this year.

Current scheme ‘suggests early loss is not as serious’

Courier writer and mum-of-two Lindsay Bruce, 43 who has experienced five miscarriages, says the roll-out of such a scheme is crucial.

“Until now, on from 24 weeks is classed as stillbirth,” she explains.

Lindsay introducing Corban to Micah when he was a newborn baby
Lindsay introducing Corban to Micah.

“You register the life and death of your child – that death is acknowledged, it’s acknowledged you’ve had a baby.

“If you lose a child just a few days before that, there’s no acknowledgement, it’s not called a baby, which suggests it’s not as serious, you won’t be grieving the same way.

“But that’s not the truth, as soon as you’re pregnant you imagine everything, what they’re going to look like, their clothes, so to be given an acknowledgement is huge.”

‘You’ve lost something, not just chemicals… you’ve lost your baby’

Lindsay had three miscarriages before her first son Corban was born, one after his birth, then a fifth after her second son Micah.

She received insensitive remarks from medical staff, downplaying her experience – but feels attitudes now are changing.

“During one of my miscarriages they said to me ‘Don’t be too upset, it’s just a chemical pregnancy’ which is awful,” she recalled.

“You’ve lost something, not just chemicals or a foetus even, you’ve lost your baby.”

‘Special and precious’

Details of voluntary pregnancy loss certificates for bereaved parents in Scotland are due to be announced later this year.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman says: “The loss of a baby, no matter what stage of pregnancy, is a tragedy which has a profound impact on families.

“We are currently finalising a way this can be acknowledged for those who have experienced suffering a pregnancy or baby loss before 24 weeks.”

Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, says: “It’s something to be welcomed.

“For many people there’s something very special and precious about having their loss recognised.”

  • The Miscarriage Association operates a telephone helpline Mon-Fri 9am-4pm on 01924 200799.For more information visit

Why this Fife mum and MP is backing campaign for paid miscarriage leave

Already a subscriber? Sign in



Lifestyle – The Courier Dundee