A HEARTBROKEN Faifley woman is calling for better support for parents experiencing baby loss.

Katey McSherry told the Post how she struggled with debt after her daughter Aleigha was sadly stillborn at 30 weeks in October 2017.

Clydebank Post: The 42-year-old has now launched a petition urging the Scottish Government to provide more financial and psychological assistance to those affected by stillbirth and miscarriage.

Katey said: “I was on 90 per cent pay for the first six weeks then half pay after that which forced me to go back to work after three months even though I didn’t feel ready.

“We’re talking about £700 a month if that and I had full rent, council tax, gas, electricity, and food to pay for. If it wasn’t for my mum and dad I would have been on my knees.

“I was still entitled to my full maternity leave but I couldn’t afford to stay off. I wasn’t getting any support, I think I got a £30 housing benefit so I got into a lot of debt which I am only just starting to get myself back out of.

“It shot my credit rating from high right down to very low which affected my mental health, which is why I am campaigning for change.”

Katey explained that although there are support systems in place for grieving parents/families in Scotland she feels more needs to be done.

Over the last five years, she has organised for the Titan Crane in Clydebank to be lit up blue and pink during Baby Loss Awareness Week (BLAW) in an effort to unite those going through the same pain.

Katey added: “This year I didn’t even leave the house because this was the first year where Aleigha’s anniversary was on a Tuesday which is the day she was born.

“I’ve contacted West Dunbartonshire Council every single year to have the Titan Crane lit up as part of BLAW’s Global Wave of Light.

“It’s so important to talk about them, people need to speak about them. I received counselling through Child Bereavement UK which was great, they’ll always be there for me.

“But we also need a better financial support network.”

Katey's petition, which has gathered nearly 700 signatures, reads: "The Scottish Government needs to have a better support network for bereaved parents, financially and psychologically, it’s renowned that, that help is not available freely.

"From working full-time and never ever being dependant on help via benefits to losing my daughter to stillbirth, maternity pay doesn’t cover bills. 

"If my child had lived I would’ve had benefits in place to help with bills (universal credit) but when my child was stillborn I received no help which plunged me into debt as a single person not asking for help. This has to change.

"Every parent should be able to reach out for support when their child dies, please help me to change this."

To view it visit HERE

Mental Wellbeing Minister Maree Todd said: “Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult and feeling isolated or not knowing where to turn for help can make a testing time almost unbearable.

"We are working hard to ensure bereavement support is readily available and easy to access.

“We have provided funding to Child Bereavement UK, and Cruse, to extend the support, care and advice offered to children, young people, and their families who have been bereaved, including those who have lost a child.

“With NHS Inform, we also provide wellbeing advice on the Mind to Mind website, including a page helping people find the support they need.”