The Duchess of Catherine met with women who had tragically suffered miscarriages on Wednesday (14.10.20).
The 38-year-old mother-of-three marked Baby Loss Awareness Week with a visit to Imperial College London in order to learn more about the work being done to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
Wearing a floral mask, Catherine donned a white lab coat at the university’s Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology, where she met with medical experts, staff from bereavement support organisation Sands, and representatives from charity Tommy’s, which helps women and their partners through pregnancy, as well as funding pioneering research.
During her visit, Catherine heard how Clare Worgan – who now works for Sands – spent three days in hospital after her daughter Alice was stillborn in September 2017.
Clare told the duchess: “We spent those three days cramming in a lifetime’s worth of memories. When she was born, she was absolutely perfect. Her birth was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. And also the worst thing that ever happened to me. When we went home our lives had been turned upside down. We had been devastated.”
Visibly moved by her story, the duchess replied: “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly. A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organizations, is being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. It is so inspirational.”
Catherine – who is married to Prince William – was “quite thrown” when she met with Obiélé and Nii-Addy Laryea, who had lost two babies in pregnancy before a team at a Tommy’s clinic in London performed a cervical stitch operation that kept their son Tetteh-Kwei, now two, safe in the womb until he was old enough to survive.
Obiélé explained that during her second pregnancy, doctors initially refused her request for a cervical stitch to prevent another miscarriage and when they finally did, it was too late.
Obiélé said of the duchess: “You could almost see it in her face, ‘Are you OK?’ I’m fine. I sometimes think to myself, if I hadn’t had the second miscarriage, I would not have heard about Tommy’s.”