Charities and health professionals help design book – now open for applications.
A Memorial Book is now open for anyone who has experienced pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks.
The book, produced jointly by the Scottish Government and National Records of Scotland, will give parents an opportunity – if they wish – to commemorate their loss with a physical record. It was developed after listening to people who have experienced a pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy and is a free and entirely optional service.
Launching the book during a visit to the baby loss charity, Held In Our Hearts, First Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“The loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy has a profound impact on everyone affected, and the Scottish Government has listened to parents who told us how difficult it was that they often felt that their loss was not recognised.
“We have worked with health professionals, Royal Colleges, baby loss charities and National Records of Scotland to develop a Memorial Book of Pregnancy and Baby Loss, which provides a record of the loss, and a commemorative certificate.
“I am pleased that this is now open for applications from anyone who has experienced pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks. I am very grateful to everyone involved in making this a reality.
“I hope this will provide acknowledgment and a measure of comfort to those who have experienced the terrible sadness of a pre-24 week pregnancy or baby loss.”
Welcoming the announcement Nicola Welsh, Chief Executive of Held In Our Hearts, said:
“The loss of a much-wanted baby at any stage of pregnancy, can be incredibly painful and isolating. A family are left grieving for a life they wished for and until now, for pre-24 week pregnancy and baby loss, there was no formal way to recognise that these little ones existed.
“The Memorial Book will, for the first time, provide the opportunity for families to have their little ones’ names added to the National Records of Scotland. We hope that by memorialising these little lives in this way, it will provide much needed comfort and recognition to these families.”
Chief Executive of Sands, and Chair of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance, Clea Harmer said:
“We hope that anyone who has been affected by pregnancy and baby loss prior to 24 weeks will find comfort in this new Memorial Book. We understand how vital it is for those who experience a bereavement at any stage in pregnancy to have their baby acknowledged and remembered and know that their babies’ lives mattered.”
National Records of Scotland will hold the Memorial Book, process applications and issue certificates.
The service is free of charge, completely voluntary and historical applications are welcome, as are applications for more than one loss.
Applications can be made by going online to www.nrscotland.gov.uk/registration/memorial-book-of-pregnancy-and-baby-loss-prior-to-24-weeks and downloading and printing the application form.
Alternatively, those interested can request that an application form from NRS would be posted to their home address.
The Memorial Book is only for those who have experienced a pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks because all other baby losses 24 weeks and above are already recognised and recorded by other formal registration processes. Prior to the launch of this book there was no way for these pre 24 week pregnancy or baby losses to be recognised and acknowledged.
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