This week I am joined by Donald Mbeutcha of Dope Black Dads to talk about his very personal experience of losing his child.
Donald bravely speaks in detail about how the tragedy developed and how it almost drove him to suicide.
In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth (Data source: Tommys). Looking at these stats its very easy to not even consider the fathers that are also affected by this devastation. Is it because men are historically and generically known for not expressing their feelings that they are often not really considered?
Personally, if I speak to a man who has lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth, am usually met with the usual ‘Im fine’, ‘Im okay’ and ‘We’ll get there, I am more worried about her!’. Perhaps it’s too hard to put into words or maybe its too painful to open up about.
Which is why I am so grateful to Donald for giving other men a voice on this topic.
Key statistics about pregnancy and loss in the UK
- 731,213 births were registered in 2018
- There were 2958 stillbirths in 2018
- Approximately 60,000 babies were born prematurely in 2018
- An estimated 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in miscarriage (1 in 8 if we only count women who realised/reported the miscarriage)
- Estimates suggest there are 250,000 miscarriages every year in the UK, and around 11,000 emergency admissions for ectopic pregnancies.
- There were 2,131 neonatal deaths in 2018
- 114 women died from mental health-related causes during or up to one year after pregnancy in the UK and Ireland in 2018
- 209 women died during or up to 6 weeks after pregnancy between 2015-2017 – this equates to 9.2 women per 100,000 who died due to causes associated with pregnancy during pregnancy or soon after
I would like to thank Donald again for being so raw and honest in this discussion. We very rarely hear of the impact that child loss has on fathers and I hope Donald can be a voice for all the men that don’t feel heard.
If you have been affected by todays talk the charity SANDS are a fantastic hub of resources and support for families who have experienced child loss. Their website is www.sands.org.uk.
Thank you for tuning in for another week and if you have been affected by anything we have discussed, please visit our resources page.
Take care of yourselves!