Losing a child is perhaps the most traumatic experience for any family. One state government is making a small step toward easing that pain.
When Mel Worthington lost her baby at 13 weeks, she was surprised by how much the child had formed.
“I wasn’t prepared for how developed he was. He was a fully formed little human being. We would have named him Blake,” she told Perth Now. “Once you reach the second trimester, that baby is fully formed with fingers, toes, organs and a heart beat. How can it not be a baby?”
Disturbed by the lack of ceremony surrounding the death of foetuses, Ms Worthington from Canning Vale in Western Australia made it her mission to improve this agonising experience for other women.
Thanks to her work, the WA government has announced it will now recognise babies stillborn prior to 20 weeks. Previously a stillborn baby had to reach a gestation period of 20 weeks or weigh 400 grams to be registered with the state’s department of births, deaths and marriages.
Now, parents who miscarry between 12-19 weeks old will also be eligible to apply for a recognition of loss certificate.
“I acknowledge the emotional trauma and devastation which early pregnancy loss brings,” WA’s Attorney General, Michael Mischin, told The Guardian.