Sheffield MP reveals she blamed herself for miscarriage in heartbreaking Commons speech

An MP fought back tears as she called on the Government to put an end to rules which means women only receive medical support after a third miscarriage.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 11:00 am

Reflecting on her own experience of miscarriage during the pandemic, Olivia Blake (Sheffield Hallam) tearfully told MPs that since her loss she has been diagnosed with diabetes, which she said may have been picked up earlier had testing been done at the time of her baby loss.

Currently in the UK women are only entitled to support, tests and treatment after a third miscarriage.

Speaking in an adjournment debate on the issue, Labour’s Ms Blake told the Commons: “After my miscarriage I got into a cycle of blaming myself and obsessing over what went wrong: if I ate the wrong thing, lifted something too heavy, and so many other ridiculous thoughts.”

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Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake.
Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake.

She praised high-profile figures such as the Duchess of Sussex and Myleene Klass who have been “been brave enough to speak and break the taboo about their experience”, adding: “Miscarriage is little spoken about but incredibly common.”

Holding back tears as she spoke, Ms Blake went on: “Miscarriages are often the symptom of an underlying health condition, it shouldn’t be that they are just seen as a fact of life, and I am concerned that this attitude speaks to wider gendered inequalities in our society.”

She told the Commons that since her miscarriage she has ended up in hospital and been diagnosed with diabetes, which the MP described as “an issue that may have been picked up if there was testing carried out at the time of my miscarriage”.

Coming to the end of her speech, she said: “The three miscarriages rule has to end, the large number of people who have signed the Tommy’s petition shows the strength of feeling.

“We wouldn’t expect someone to go through three heart attacks before we tried to find out what was wrong and treat them, so why do we expect women to go through three in some cases preventable losses before they are offered the answers and treatments they need?”

She added: “We must break the taboo of miscarriage, I know from personal experience and from many people who have contacted me that we can do so, so much better.”

The MP has told how she was forced to tell her partner that she had lost their baby in a hospital car park due to coronavirus restrictions.

Health minister Nadine Dorries praised Ms Blake for her “touching” speech, adding: “She is so incredibly brave to do what she does and champion those women who have suffered from miscarriages.”

Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing added Ms Blake had shown “great courage” in bringing the issue to the chamber.

She said: “Most of us have never dared to raise these matters here because we know the reaction that we would previously have got, but now we’ve made a difference and (Ms Blake) and the minister have made a big difference today in treating this matter with the seriousness it deserves here in this chamber.