Michelle and Steve McDonald will lose their baby boy, Ruairi (pronounced Rory), when she goes into early labour next month.
The actress has explained that she “thought long and hard before agreeing to take on the challenge of this storyline”, which has been devised with the help of the charity Sands.
“It is obviously a cause very close to my heart having lost my beautiful Archie at 21 weeks and 5 days,” she says. “I discussed it with my family and friends, all of who were very supportive.
“In the end I felt it was an important story to tell in order to raise awareness of something which affects thousands of women every year.
“I have had to go to some very dark places in my mind whilst filming these heartbreaking scenes but my family, friends and colleagues have been incredible. Losing a child is something that never leaves you so to revisit those feelings as Michelle has been challenging.
“‘Coronation Street’ ensured that I had a counsellor on set at all times to go to after filming the scenes but for me the best tonic after a hugely emotional day was to go home to my kids and be reminded of how lucky I am to have them.
“I am very proud of what we have done with this storyline and I hope it helps raise awareness and helps people to talk about their own experiences.”
The soap’s producer, Kate Oates, adds: “The subject of miscarriage will always be sensitive; but telling this story with Simon [Gregson] and Kym at the centre would always have an extra poignancy.
“Through careful writing and research, we hope we are able to encourage discussion, understanding and compassion for those viewers affected by the loss of a baby.”
Erica Stewart, Bereavement Support and Awareness Specialist at Sands, says: “For a TV drama like ‘Coronation Street’ to cover this devastating experience is a brilliant way of raising awareness of the issues surrounding a baby’s death at any gestation.
“The death of a baby is rarely talked about. Many people shy away from the issue, others have a misconception that this is a thing of the past.”
This isn’t the first time the charity has worked with a soap, and they previously assisted the ‘EastEnders’ team with the highly-praised, sensitively handled Shabnam Masood stillbirth storyline.
These scenes will air during the week commencing Monday 9 January 2017.
For more information on stillbirth and neonatal death, contact Sands.