Petals is today (9 October) warning of a mental health crisis that could arise amongst women and men experiencing pregnancy and baby loss during the Covid19 pandemic.

We have expressed our concern about the impact of isolation on those experiencing pregnancy and baby loss during lockdown, as well as the trauma many of them are facing due to partners not being allowed into hospital.

Petals CEO Karen Burgess explains, “We know that parents who suffer the devastation of pregnancy and baby loss often feel excluded or rejected by their social circle but when this is combined with the isolation and restrictions of lockdown there is potential for a mental health crisis for bereaved parents.

There have been some desperately sad stories of women receiving the worst possible news about their baby without their partners; and of course then their partners learn this over the phone – some whilst waiting in the hospital car park. We completely understand the need for strict measures due to Covid19 but also believe that some exceptions must be made in order to protect the mental health and recovery of these devastated parents”.

Silma and Binit Shah had to make the heartbreaking decision to have a termination for medical reasons during lockdown, losing their much-wanted and loved daughter Mia. Silma explains, “The outbreak has made us feel lonelier and more upset than I ever imagined. I have overthought everything at least ten times over… questioning why this had happened to us…and this has been even worse during the outbreak due to the lack of distractions we have had. We haven’t been able to have family or friends over to help us grieve or distract us.

We are so grateful to charities like Petals which have carried on providing support and help especially to those bereaved parents who have experienced loss during this outbreak. I think we would have really suffered if it was not for their counselling sessions, offers of advice and dedication to the work they do.”

Petals provides specialist psychological support to women, men and couples who experience the loss of a pregnancy or baby. In order to meet the mental health needs of parents suffering pregnancy or baby loss during lockdown, Petals moved their entire service to online video counselling.

Today marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week (BLAW). This year’s theme is isolation – something that is commonly reported by bereaved parents after a loss, and which has been intensified in recent months by the Covid-19 lockdown. Pregnancy and baby loss charities across the country are uniting to ensure that bereaved parents are not left alone during these trying times.