The government has launched a voluntary scheme to allow parents to record and receive a certificate to provide recognition of their loss. Parents can access this free service from 9am Thursday 22 Feb. The certificates will not be compulsory – it remains the choice of all parents to manage the difficult time of a loss, however they see fit.  

Delivering on baby loss certificates was part of the government’s response to the independent Pregnancy Loss Review. The review was commissioned in 2018 to consider the registration and certification of pregnancy loss occurring before 24 weeks gestation and on the quality of care.    

The Review concluded that while it currently may not be possible to prevent many pre-24-week pregnancy losses from occurring, much more can be done to ensure each grieving parent receives excellent care and compassionate support.   

Improvement to maternity care and birth trauma support were announced as a priority area within the women’s health strategy for England in 2024 – a vital plan to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls.

Kate Brintworth, Chief Midwifery Officer for England, NHS England said: “Compassionate and personalised care at every stage of pregnancy is vital, and I am pleased that women in England will now be able to access a baby loss certificate which recognises the impact and importance of early pregnancy loss to them and their families.

“The NHS is improving maternity and neonatal bereavement care across England, including by next month bereavement services will be available in almost every NHS Trust, seven days a week for women and families who sadly experience loss.

“The government recognises the tireless work of campaigners who have spoken publicly about their experience with loss, and charities including Tommy’s, Sands, the Miscarriage Association, and The Mariposa Trust – for continuing to raise awareness of this important issue.”

Marcus Green, APEC CEO said: “These certificates are what parents have been asking for over many years and to get to this point has at times been painfully slow, but baby loss charities, the NHS and Ministers have all been united in getting this right which is why Baby Loss Certificates are being broadly welcomed. The government has made these reasonably straightforward to obtain in a timely manner and the process is comparatively humane compared with most interactions with government. It is heart-breaking that Baby Loss Certificates have to exist, but under the circumstances they are very welcome.”

Zoe Clark-Coates MBE BCAh, Founder and CEO The Mariposa Trust, Co-chair and author of The Pregnancy Loss Review said: “Over the past 5-years, it has been my honour to co-chair and write the Pregnancy Loss Review on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health. The 73 recommendations that Sam and I submitted within the review offer a real opportunity to revolutionise baby loss care in England. “My passion and long-term commitment is to help all bereaved families, and by the implementation of these recommendations, I believe we will make great strides in addressing the disparities in the care, support, education, and training that currently exist. One of those pivotal recommendations was for the introduction of a new certificate of loss, which The Mariposa Trust ( has tirelessly campaigned for over the past 9 years. I’m thrilled that from today millions of families will finally get the formal acknowledgment that their baby existed and I hope this will help their grieving process. “I would like to thank Dame Floella Benjamin for working with us to make this happen and the government for their commitment to bereaved families. My focus will now turn to the other 72 recommendations to ensure their successful implementation.”

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “We warmly welcome the introduction of optional certificates for those who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss since September 2018, and we very much look forward to the scheme being extended to losses prior to that date as soon as possible.

“For many, if not most people, even the earliest of losses can be deeply distressing, both emotionally and physically. It means the loss not only of this pregnancy but also of the hopes, plans and dreams that they had for this new life. And having no formal acknowledgement or marker of their loss can compound their grief.

“The new certification scheme will make a genuinely positive difference to many who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss, offering formal recognition of the tiniest of lives.”

Samantha Collinge, Bereavement Lead Midwife, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and co-chair of the Pregnancy Loss Review said: “Today marks a milestone moment for not just Zoe and myself, the co-chairs and co-authors of the ‘Independent Pregnancy Loss Review’ but for the millions of people who have experienced pre-24 weeks baby loss.

“Since I was appointed as a bereavement midwife in 1998 I have campaigned for a standardised care pathway that ensures that every parent experiencing baby loss (regardless of the gestation or type of loss ) receives the physical and emotional care and support they deserve.

“The Pregnancy Loss Review with its 73 recommendations for improving care offers a real opportunity to change the landscape of pre-24 week loss and I feel enormously privileged to have co-led this piece of work.

“Miscarriage and other types of pre 24 weeks baby loss is often minimised and treated as a “clinical event “ or “just one of those things” rather than the loss of a baby and sadly the emotional impact of the loss is often disregarded.

“Zoe and I hope that the introduction of a national certificate of baby loss will give bereaved parents the official recognition that their babies did exist and that their babies lives, however brief really do matter.”