Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates Now Available For Victorian Parents
Victorians who have experienced early pregnancy loss can now apply for a commemorative certificate through the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
An early pregnancy loss is considered one that occurs before 20 weeks and is not formally recognised as either a birth or a death. The new Victorian certificate is not a legal document but does recognise a loss before 20 weeks, if the weeks are unknown or if the baby weighed less than 400 grams.
Parents can apply for the certificate at any time, as long as the loss took place in Victoria. Other states that already provide a pregnancy loss certificate are Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews shared the news on his Facebook page yesterday with the following message:
The certificate was designed by Western Australian artist and writer Till Heike, who is the state’s coordinator for SANDS (miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death support). She’s been an advocate for the awareness of pregnancy loss, stillbirth and infant death support since her daughter’s death in 2014.
The certificate was created using watercolour on birchwood and features a pair of helmeted honeyeaters, Victoria’s state bird.
“When I was approached about providing a design for the Early Pregnancy Loss commemorative certificates, it was something that immediately resonated with me,” Till said in the video.
“My own experience encompasses multiple early pregnancy losses, as a result of multiple different circumstances, and that extends to experiencing the stillbirth of my daughter, Claudia. With early pregnancy loss in particular, sometimes it can feel like we leave the hospital with nothing but paperwork. Parents might have imagined a long timeline for their child, right from the time that they saw that early pregnancy test and, because of the enormity of the loss they’re trying to process, it is especially important to provide ways to make memories, to validate their loss, and to normalise that connection that they have with their baby,” she continued.
“What we wanted to achieve with the design, really, was something that has a very contemporary and warm aesthetic appeal. To be able to provide these certificates to parents is such an important way to acknowledge their baby, and to acknowledge their loss.”
Head to Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages if you’d like to apply for an Early Pregnancy Loss Certificate.