MP Sharon talks about the upset she faced after daughter's stillbirth

Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson has spoken about her own experiences as a mother during a debate in the House of Commons.
Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson has spoken about her own experiences as a mother during a debate in the House of Commons.

An MP has spoken out about the "trauma" she endured when her daughter's stillbirth was classified as a miscarriage.

Labour MP Sharon Hodgson was noticeably emotional after she recalled her daughter's stillbirth at 23-and-a-half weeks.

The Washington and Sunderland West MP told the Commons: "Because she was born dead, although I always class her as a stillbirth, officially it was put down as a miscarriage and I wasn't given a death certificate.

It comes as Baby Loss Awareness week is marked

On Wearside, it has been recognised with Penshaw Monument lit up in blue and pink.

They are the colours of the 4Louis charity, which reaches out to parents and families affected by still birth, miscarriage and infant death and was set up by Houghton woman Kirsty McGurrell, after she and her family lost her first born son in 2009 when he was stillborn.

Read more here.

Mrs Hodgson said: "It was another trauma, on top of the trauma I'd already gone through, because then on paper it read miscarriage.

"She was blessed by the chaplain while I was still in hospital, we went on to have a funeral, which I felt was right.

"I held her in my arms. She was a fully formed baby. So there is that anomaly that I think does have to be addressed."

Former home affairs select committee chairman Keith Vaz also said better advice and counselling was needed in the aftermath of any loss.

"When my child died 23 years ago, at term, we didn't have a bereavement suite in Leicester. We do now," he said.

"The issue is not just the ability to be able to grieve and be with your child. It is also getting expert help and counselling at that moment.

"My wife was told she would never have children again after this stillbirth, but we have two children subsequently.

"It is so important to get that advice right at that time."