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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4430


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (09:59): Today I want to talk about what is a very sensitive issue, but life-changing for many people across Australia—miscarriage. A miscarriage is the loss of your baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. After that, it is known as stillbirth. Both can be traumatic for a mother and her family. It is estimated that one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Miscarriage is bereavement, but because it's not talked about, because it's made taboo, this makes the bereavement more intense for the mother and her family to speak about.

Too Beautiful For Earth Incorporated is an online information service, based in my electorate of Dunkley, that provides emotional support for parents who experience a miscarriage. They provide emotional support to women after a miscarriage to help them deal with their grief. I'm proud that we've been able to support them with $5,000 in funding through a community grant. There needs to be more emotional support for women who miscarry as the taboo around it makes the experience of miscarriage even more lonely and complicated. Miscarriage is a real grief that people find difficult to communicate.

There also need to be better processes around miscarriage. This could include better understanding a mother's wishes in respect of what to do with a lost baby. It could also include understanding the trauma a woman can experience being placed in a maternity ward after they've had a miscarriage or stillbirth. It needs to be better looked at. Also, many people don't announce their pregnancy until after 12 weeks in case they do miscarry. Why should people have to hide this loss of their baby? If people feel that they can announce earlier that they are pregnant, we would all be able to discuss miscarriage as it happens to so many of us.

Some ways that you can remember your baby may include remembering your baby on your baby's due date or anniversary of the loss; planting a tree; making a memory book; buying a memorial plaque; talking to others about your experience; wearing a heart, angel or a 'too beautiful for earth' necklace close to your heart; or participating in the International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day events near you on 15 October each year, including lighting a candle at 7 pm on that day to represent your baby while creating a wave of light around the world. I encourage my colleagues and those around Australia to gain a better understanding of the issue surrounding miscarriage, and to support those who have been through this experience. Thank you for the time today to speak about this issue.