Northern Ireland

MLA Carla Lockhart speaks out about her miscarriage

Carla Lockhart Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Carla Lockhart spoke to BBC Evening Extra about the taboo of discussing miscarriage

DUP assembly member Carla Lockhart has revealed she suffered a miscarriage.

The DUP politician told the BBC Evening Extra programme that the issue can often be a taboo subject and Nichola Sturgeon discussing her loss helped her to talk about it.

At the weekend, Scotland's first minister spoke publicly for the first time about her miscarriage.

Ms Sturgeon told author Mandy Rhodes, who is writing a book about her, that the experience was "painful".

"Sometimes, having a baby just doesn't happen, no matter how much we might want it to," she said.

It is estimated that about one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Hidden loss

Ms Lockhart said it can be something people "don't really want to talk about".

"People haven't been in those shoes, they don't know the hurt and the pain," she said.

"People need to realise how many women are going through this."

The MLA for Upper Bann said she wanted to use her platform as a politician to help other women.

"I believe it will help raise awareness," she said.

"I see this as an opportunity to let women know it's OK to hurt, it's OK to cry."

Ruth Bender Atik, director of the Miscarriage Association, told Evening Extra it could be difficult to talk about miscarriage.

"It's very private," she said. "You don't know what response you are going to get.

"It sounds medical, but it is the loss of a baby - a hidden loss."

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