sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Maria Servold EPLA Editor
A British couple has made headlines recently after they came forward to discuss how their miscarried baby’s body was treated (or not treated) at a hospital in London.
Laura Brody and Lawrence White lost their son at home four months into pregnancy. The loss occurred after they visited a hospital, had an ultrasound that showed the baby had died, and were told to wait at home until a bed was available for her to deliver the stillborn baby.
While waiting at home, she delivered the baby in her bathroom. The couple called an emergency number but were told their situation was not an emergency. They went to the emergency room anyway, with the baby boy’s body in a Tupperware container.
Once in the emergency room, Laura and Lawrence had to wait for five hours in the waiting room, and once they were seen by staff members, no one provided help or information about how to handle the baby’s body, the couple said.
"It feels like there's no safety net when things go wrong with pregnancy,” Brody told The Telegraph newspaper. "And even with all the staff and experts working really hard, the processes are so flawed that it just felt like we'd been tipped into hell."
At the Early Pregnancy Loss Association, we know one of the most difficult parts of miscarriage can be figuring out how to appropriately and carefully handle the body of a miscarried baby. Many times, in early losses, the baby’s body isn’t recovered. However, many women are able to retrieve the body or gestational sac of their baby.
One organization, Heaven’s Gain Ministries, has put together a body retrieval kit that we include in our large at-home miscarriage care kits. The retrieval kits help families secure and preserve their baby’s body until they are able to bury or cremate it.
Heavens’ Gain also provides beautiful caskets and urns for the remains of miscarried babies, highlighting the dignity of tiny souls lost too soon, but never forgotten.
We hope medical care professionals continue to improve the process of helping families through miscarriage, including the proper handling of a miscarried baby’s remains. We will continue to advocate for such efforts, and will seek to provide support in whatever way we can.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College.