Child of Mine review – three stories that reveal the tragedy of stillbirth

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The UK has one of the worst rates of stillbirth in the UK, yet the subject is barely discussed. Perhaps more films like this dignified and moving documentary will change that

One in 200 babies born in the UK is not born alive. We have one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world. Child of Mine (Channel 4) took us through the story of three of them. There was Matilda, Fiona and Niall’s first baby, born at 41 weeks the day after their midwife could no longer find her heartbeat. “We’d had a scan the day before,” her mother says. “But she died overnight.” In the photographs taken to remember her by, after staff had dressed and swaddled her, she looks just as if she were sleeping. Impossible to believe that, when she has clearly so recently gone, she can’t be willed back to life. But if she could have been, of course, the people holding her would have made it so. “You feel a bond,” says Niall, remembering those first – last – hours with his daughter, “but obviously … it’s not quite what you were hoping for.”

They lost Matilda last year and Fiona is pregnant again, constantly monitored by hospital staff, all of them weighing the precious weeks of gestation against the possible signs of trouble that will demand an early delivery. They pore over the outputs of every scan, reading the runes and plotting to thwart the malevolent hand of fate before it touches her again.

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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