ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee has revealed in an emotional speech to the territory's Legislative Assembly that she has experienced two miscarriages this year.
Ms Lee spoke about her grief in a tripartisan motion in the ACT's parliament on Friday to recognise International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15.
Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne said said the ACT government would, from October 15, offer a formal early pregnancy loss commemorative certificate to residents who lose a child before 20 weeks to help with the grieving process.
"The certificate provides tangible recognition of the loss and I hope it will offer some support and comfort for parents," she said.
"The certificate will be optional and free of charge."
The ACT is the last jurisdiction in Australia to offer this.
Ms Lee said the certificate and the recognition of the day was an important step to help families who have suffered loss to feel they are not alone.
She also shared in the speech that she and her partner, Nathan, had experienced two miscarriages this year.
Ms Lee experienced an earlier miscarriage in June 2018. One year after the loss she gave birth to her daughter and rainbow baby, Mia.
"This year Nathan and I experienced two more miscarriages both of which both of which I was required to undergo a dilation and curettage," she told the Assembly.
"As medical procedures go, it's a fairly minor one and I'm extremely fortunate to have the support of a professional and caring medical team and whilst the physical recovery is pretty straightforward, the emotional recovery isn't so easy."
Ms Lee said her emotional response to the losses had come in waves and often when she had least expected it.
"Every family experiences pregnancy loss differently," Ms Lee said.
"I've almost forgotten all about it when I'm updating my health insurance policy and they innocently ask is there a reason you need top tier hospital cover. This is enough for me to stop and my mind goes straight back to that dark room when the sonographer said those painful words, I'm sorry there's no heart beat.
"I think it's really really important that we recognise that everyone grieves and needs to process in grief in a in a different way."
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Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti also shared her experience of pregnancy loss.
"Early pregnancy loss is so common that well meaning advice provided to people when people when women first find out they're pregnant, includes the suggestion that women keep it quiet for a while, in case something goes wrong," she said.
"I would reflect that I am glad that I did not take this advice and did not carry the weight of the experience of early pregnancy loss alone."
Greens crossbencher Andrew Braddock also spoke about his son, Connor Jack Braddock, who was stillborn nine years ago.
"As I wrote this speech nine years on, the tears came streaming down the face. The feelings came flooding back," he said.
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