Nicola Sturgeon says she attended memorial service while having a miscarriage

nicola sturgeon attended memorial while having a miscarriage
Nicola on attending memorial amid miscarriageJeff Mitchell - Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon has opened up about her experience of baby loss, recalling how she attended a memorial service while having a miscarriage.

Speaking on ITV's Loose Women, Scotland's First Minister – who recently announced her plans to step down from the position – spoke about the difficulties of balancing such a traumatic experience with her life as a politician in the public eye.

"If you go online and Google, you can find a photograph of me at an event, actually while I’m still having a miscarriage, a public commemoration for a disaster that happened many decades ago in Scotland," Sturgeon recalled. "Looking at me, looking at that photograph now, it’s clear I’m in a lot of pain."

"I can only speak for myself, but I think it’s more common than just me – you just bury it," she said of how she dealt with the miscarriage, which she previously revealed had happened "at the very end of Hogmanay in 2010."

"You effectively don’t deal with it, you don’t process it," Sturgeon went on. "I’ve been doing that to one extent or another for all my adult life."

nicola sturgeon attended memorial while having a miscarriage
Sturgeon referenced this photo from the 40th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster on 3 January 2011.Pool - Getty Images

To help other parents going through similar situations, Sturgeon recently launched an initiative in Scotland – the baby loss memorial book – which she said may have helped her to deal with her own experience.

Along with an entry in the book, those who have experienced a loss will be able to apply for a commemorative certificate which is intended to give recognition and comfort to those who want to record their loss, the Scottish government's website explains. The service will be free of charge and completely voluntary.

"The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is always painful. I have spoken in the past about my personal experience of miscarriage, and I know the sense of grief will stay with me and my husband forever," the First Minister said when announcing the launch. "I also know that we would have drawn comfort at the time if there had been a way for us to mark the loss and formally recognise the child we were grieving."

She continued: "Launching this memorial book with the National Records of Scotland will give parents an opportunity – if they wish it – to commemorate their loss with a physical record, and to have their child recognised."

If you're looking for support or more information about premature births, stillbirths or miscarriage, Tommy's have a free helpline 0800 0147 800 (open 9-5, Monday to Friday). There's also a Facebook group.

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