Monday 1 November 2010

The Home Straight

This weekend something tragic happened, a woman lost a baby, at 6 months pregnant (probably around 26/27 weeks pregnant) That woman is Lily Allen, a well known British singer. She had been photographed with her bump on show, smiling, bubbly, glowing. But today, she is grieving. I hope her baby boy is in peace, and that Lily Allen and her partner can finds solace and healing.

What interested me today were the comments on Twitter and on a pregnancy and baby forum I visit. Many people said "I thought after six months you were home and dry".

The third trimester, in development terms, is fairly boring. The baby has everything it needs in terms of organs, and the third trimester is a time for growth and laying down fat stores, and to prepare for the journey ahead and life outside the womb.

However the third trimester is still, for the developing foetus, fraught with risk. The mother may develop pre eclampsia, the cervix could be incompetent and fail, membranes can rupture prematurely, the placenta can malfunction. The mother could be in an accident, or struck down with an illness.

Whilst most pregnancies are "boring and normal" albeit uncomfortable towards the end, there are pregnancies that remain fragile right up to that moment of birth.

Whilst I wouldn't wish anyone to suffer a loss, especially so late on in their pregnancy, I hope if anything comes out of this, it is that people are more aware that babies do pass away late on in pregnancy and we as mothers need more monitoring, more care and their needs to be continuing research into pregnancy problems, and continuing advances in medical care.

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