Kate Middleton donned a lab coat and face mask on Wednesday as she met families affected by miscarriages and stillbirths.
The Duchess of Cambridge visited the research facilities at Imperial College London to learn more about the current work being done by the national charity Tommy to reduce rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
The tour took place during Baby Loss Awareness Week, which hopes to increase national understanding of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss.
It also aims to connect bereaved parents.
Kate met Clare Worgan, a woman whose daughter Alice was stillborn, which prompted her to retrain in order to help other women suffering from the same loss.
Ms Worgan now works for the bereavement charity Sands, which funds research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriages.
She told the royal that she spent three days in hospital after the birth of her daughter Alice, whom she simultaneously called the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to her.
“We spent these three days cramming in the memories of a lifetime,” she said. “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 returned home our lives had been turned upside down. We had been devastated. A week after Alice’s funeral, I decided I wanted to become a midwife because the care I received was amazing. I wanted to do what they had done for me.
She continued, “Alice literally changed my life. I feel his short life has a pretty big impact.
Kate called Ms. Worgan’s story “inspiring”.
“It’s so brave of you to be able to speak so openly. A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organizations, is done by parents who have been through this experience and want to help others. It is so inspiring. ‘
The midwife also spoke about how isolating the experience was, as many did not know what to say to the woman.
‘When I got home I literally wanted to tell the world about my baby – how beautiful she was, how she weighed, what it was like to give birth.
“But no one wanted to hear it. At the supermarket, people would see me, turn around and go in the opposite direction, because people don’t know what to say.
Tommy’s chief executive, Jane Brewin, said: “Losing a baby is often seen as ‘one of those things’ and something that ‘wasn’t meant to be’. This fatalistic attitude contributes to a failure to bring about change. Losing a baby is one of the most heartbreaking things a family can go through – and one that is endured too often, but often quietly, because of this lingering stigma in society.
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