Each year more than 40 women across the Army - regular, reserve and civilian - are directly affected by miscarriages. However, it is not just women who are affected, miscarriages and other pregnancy losses also have an impact on their partners friends and colleagues. The Army acknowledges the impact miscarriage and pregnancy loss can have.
In November, the Pregnancy / Maternity and Return to Work guidance was updated to include the support available to those experiencing a miscarriage. This year has seen the Army Child Bereavement Network established and more recently the Army Director of Personnel, Major General Paul Griffiths, signed the Miscarriage Association’s Pregnancy Loss Pledge on behalf of the Army.
“Miscarriage is a truly sad event that has long lasting implications for many people, said Major General Griffiths. We have put a range of additional measures in place to support our women and their partners who have experienced a miscarriage. I encourage anyone who has suffered a miscarriage to seek support.”
Signing the pledge is the first of many positive steps the British Army has taken to offer more urgently required support and a wider awareness of how a miscarriage can affect people.
This year, we will continue to move forward with these positive steps and spend time reviewing all policies to ensure they are up to date and reflective of the support, leave and working options open to those individuals experiencing a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, including partners. The review will take time, but we are expecting to have these policies updated and implemented by summer 2022.
We are already taking steps to improve the lived experience of our service personnel and their partners. This includes removing the need to specify which carer/parent in a service couple takes priority regarding deployment and we are reviewing whether paternity leave could be increased.
Reach out for support
If you have been affected by miscarriage or child loss, there are support networks with further information available should you have questions. We want to ensure as a priority that you feel safe and able to talk to someone should you wish to, whilst we conduct a thorough review to ensure the right policies and support are available.
Further information and support can be found at:
Defence Child Bereavement Network (Facebook Group)
The Miscarriage Association: Pregnancy loss information and support