Trigger warning: this article discusses miscarriage and pregnancy loss
Since we launched our miscarriage policy in May earlier this year, a lot has happened. We’ve spoken to politicians who are actively working with the Health Secretary on the Women’s Health Strategy for 2022, to local and national press, to other business leaders in our communities and to contacts in our networks.
We also shared the personal reasons behind the implementation of our policy and our colleague Natasha’s story behind it, and we’ve applauded other like-minded businesses who saw the power in implementing such an important policy.
However, the policy doesn’t stop there – there’s still work to be done. Baby Loss Awareness Week runs from the 9th-15th October, which feels like the appropriate time to proudly announce that we’ve signed the Pregnancy Loss Pledge, created by the Miscarriage Association.
The pledge encourages UK employers of all scales and sizes to commit to supporting their staff through the distress of miscarriage. Setting a standard, the Pregnancy Loss Pledge urges organisations to ensure that all employees who experience the trauma of miscarriage have access to the support they need.
Jake Third, our MD, said: “We were so proud of Natasha for taking her experience and helping us to create a policy that would benefit anyone else on our team who experiences miscarriage. However, for us, this isn’t a matter of creating a policy and then forgetting about it. We’re proud to show our support to the Pregnancy Loss Pledge and for continuing a conversation that business leaders need to have.”
In all honesty, prior to Natasha’s experience, a miscarriage policy wasn’t something we’d thought about as an agency. However, we believe the only way we can learn as a business is to create a culture where we listen and our people lead our policies. Natasha did just that and is now advocating for a change across the UK.”
Natasha Knowles, Project Delivery Team Lead, said: “When you read what the statutory rights are in the UK for those who experience miscarriage (pregnancy loss under 24 weeks), it is astonishing – because there are none. Whereas other countries, like New Zealand and India, have successfully launched basic statutory rights, it begs the question ‘why can’t the UK?’
“We are hopeful that with Baby Loss Awareness Week around the corner, campaigns like the Pregnancy Loss Pledge, upcoming TV documentaries and awareness raising from influential people will firstly, encourage our Govenment to do the right thing and implement basic rights (as part of their Women’s Health Strategy) for those who experience a miscarriage. And secondly, will remove the social stigma of talking about it over time.
The positive effect this would have on the wellbeing of people who experience these traumatic life events would be huge but if the pain and impact is not acknowledged further, we’ll continue to see sobering stats such as ‘20% of women who have had one miscarriage experience the same levels of PTSD as former frontline soldiers’ and are ‘four times more likely to attempt to take their own life’.
“I’d like to say thank you, also, to all of the companies who have got in touch to tell me about how and why they’re now better supporting their teams, to everyone who has shared their stories with us and to everyone who has signed our original petition calling for change: without you, we wouldn’t be speaking to politicians about this. Together, we are making changes!”
You can find more details on the pledge and how to sign it here.