Local MP Patricia Gibson has welcomed improvement investment in mental health support for bereaved parents.

Mrs Gibson was leading a Westminster debate on Baby Loss Awareness Week, which culminates in International Pregnant and Infant Loss Day on 15 October.

This day that is particularly poignant for the MP and her husband, Kenneth Gibson MSP, because it was on that day that their son was born stillborn at full term in 2009.

Patricia Gibson said: “Every day across the UK, 9 babies are stillborn and many thousands are miscarried.

"The theme of this year’s reflection is the importance of access to mental health support for those who need it in the wake of baby loss.

"This is important not just for mums, but dads too and other family members struggling with the loss of a baby.

“Parents who suffer the loss of a child are eight times more likely to separate and are also more likely to develop depression and other mental health issues.

"Women who have experienced stillbirth, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy are at a higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression than those who have not.

“Easier and more prompt mental health support is vital for many bereaved parents who are struggling with grief and can help them to stay together, return to work and remain economically active, which can in time prevent the isolation that grief often brings. I welcome the Scottish Government’s investment in perinatal mental health to ensure there is support for bereaved parents prior to discharge and appropriate signposting to services thereafter.

“This is an important week of remembrance to all who have suffered such a loss, to collectively remember our babies. If we can take some isolation out of the grief for our lost babies and give much better aftercare to parents who have suffered this tragedy, it will enable many more people to come to terms with it.”