12/10/2021 17:28 BST

'Miscarriage Still Feels Like A Taboo': Labour MP Teams Up With Myleene Klass In TV Documentary

Olivia Blake, who miscarried during the pandemic last year, is hoping to break the stigma for baby loss awareness week.

Office of Olivia Blake MP
Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake is campaigning for more support for women who experience miscarriages.

An MP who spoke publicly about her miscarriage will star in a documentary with celebrity Myleene Klass to help break the stigma during baby loss awareness week.

Labour MP Olivia Blake will feature in the documentary, which airs on Thursday evening, as part of her campaign to boost support for women who suffer miscarriages.

Last year Blake revealed how she had to tell her partner she had miscarried while he was waiting in an A&E car park, because Covid restrictions prevented him from attending the hospital with her.

And this summer, she won plaudits from across the political divide for securing an adjournment debate in which she called for an end to the three miscarriages rule – whereby women only receive support or care after their third miscarriage.

Speaking ahead of the documentary, Blake said: “It has been nearly a year since I first spoke publicly about my own experience of miscarriage, during a debate in parliament.

“I hadn’t planned to, but after hearing so many brave colleagues talk about their own miscarriages, I decided to rip up my notes and speak about my experience instead.

“Since that day I have been contacted by literally hundreds of people across the country. Some who have never spoken about their miscarriage to anyone, others completely denied any support or told they simply hadn’t had enough miscarriages to receive help.

“It is a scandal that for so long people have been left to suffer like this, like miscarriage is an inevitable fact of life that women must deal with alone. But things are starting to change.”

The UK currently does not routinely collect and publish miscarriage data in the way it does for other losses such as stillbirth and neonatal death. But the most recent research from the Lancet suggests that 23 million miscarriages occur every year globally – equivalent to 15% of all pregnancies annually.

Black mothers face a 40% higher relative risk than white mothers, while the risk of miscarriages is lowest between the ages of 20 and 29.

However, the risk goes up threefold by 40 and fivefold by 45.

During Blake’s adjournment debate, the health minister at the time, Nadine Dorries, committed to including reforming the women’s health strategy by including a record of national miscarriage data as well as 24/7 care and support for those who have experienced miscarriage.

Classical musician Klass – who has experienced four miscarriages – also said the subject still “felt like a taboo” despite its prevalence among women.

“I’m getting to a point in my life where I’m finding it very tricky to find a woman who hasn’t gone through miscarriage,” she said.

“Making this film, I’ve realised that so many women around me have had miscarriages. How can I know so much about their lives but not know something that’s shaped who they are and the way they are?”

She added: “Miscarriage still feels like a taboo. I’d like to help make these conversations a little easier. It can’t go on being the big dark secret that we have to carry around.” 

The documentary will air on Thursday October, 14 at 9pm on W, a pay TV channel available on Sky and Virgin.