Voluntary certificates for pregnancies and babies lost before 24 weeks gestation

22 Feb 2024 | By The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

Today sees the launch, in England, of certificates for pregnancies and babies lost before the 24th week of pregnancy. This is optional and can be a way to remember your baby, if this feels right for you. The certification includes ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, and termination at any gestation before 24 weeks.

You can request a certificate if the following all apply:

  • you’ve lost a baby before the 24th week of pregnancy
  • you’re one of the baby’s parents or surrogate
  • you’re at least 16 years old
  • your pregnancy ended on or after 1 September 2018
  • you lived in England when you lost your baby
  • you live in England.

This certificate is not a legal document and cannot be used to claim benefits or be added to your doctor’s records. If your pregnancy ends from 24 weeks onwards, you need to register a stillbirth instead.

At present, the certification is available for pregnancies that ended on or after 1 September 2018. However, it is intended to open up this timeframe as soon as possible.

You can apply for a certificate for each baby, if you have experienced more than one pregnancy loss.

You will need to have the following to hand and requests are through the Government website.

  • your NHS number or postcode registered with your GP;
  • the mobile phone number or email address registered with your GP;
  • and permission from the other parent and their email address, if you want their name on the certificate.

Munira Oza, Director of The EPT said:
“We hope that anyone who has been affected by pregnancy and baby loss prior to 24 weeks, who wishes to mark their loss in this way, can find comfort in having a certificate. With early losses, including through ectopic pregnancy, there can be so little to remember their baby by. We understand how important it can be for those who experience a loss at any stage to have their experience and baby acknowledged.”
We recognise that whether to request a certificate or not is a deeply personal decision and there is no “right” or “wrong” approach.
In addition or as an alternative, there are other ways of marking your loss and you can read more here:

Commemoration and Remembrance

Treasured Tulips Tributes

Today’s announcement and news may have brought up many emotions for you. Whether or not you choose to request a certificate, our support routes are always open to you. Please be kind to yourself and know that we are here for you, wherever you are in your journey and whether your loss was recent or some time ago.
If you are in Scotland, you can read about the Memorial Book of Pregnancy and Baby Loss Prior to 24 weeks here.

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