A BARRHEAD woman who has suffered the trauma of seven miscarriages is now focusing on helping other couples experiencing grief through child loss, writes David Carnduff.

Nicola McGowan, 32, has launched a fundraising campaign to create a range of self-care boxes containing specially-picked items to help couples through the grieving process.

She first miscarried in 2015 while on honeymoon in Cuba with her 31-year-old husband Nikki.

Since then, Nicola has experienced another six losses, including twins, through miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. 

After a fall, she developed unexplained infertility and has been having IVF treatment over the past few years.

She told the Barrhead News: “I remember each and every one of the babies I’ve lost.

“My mental health suffered after my losses and I didn’t know how to deal with my grief effectively.

“After all, how can you explain to someone that you’re grieving over someone who was not yet born? The truth is, I did need to grieve.”

Nicola has said the items chosen for her range of self-care boxes will have a strong focus on mindfulness and promoting positive mental health.

She added: “These boxes will be suitable for both men and women as, quite often, our partners can be forgotten.

“There will also be a range of boxes for single women and women in same sex relationships.

“These boxes won’t erase all of the hurt that comes with a loss but they will help you on your road to healing.”

Launched three weeks ago, with a target of £4,000, the crowdfunding campaign now stands at around £1,000 and has been rising steadily.

Nicola has been buoyed by the support of a doctor in Argyll who gave the campaign a major donation of £250, which meant he qualified to receive 10 boxes as part of a rewards system she has built into the fundraising drive.

These boxes are set to be placed at Mid Argyll Hospital, in Lochgilphead, and Lorne and Isles Hospital, in Oban, much to Nicola’s delight.

Meanwhile, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ‘Back Her Business’ campaign, which supports female entrepreneurs starting new ventures, has also pledged support.

The bank agreed to donate half of the fundraising target once £1,000 had been reached, leaving a further £1,000 to be raised.

Nicola has dubbed her self-care packages ‘Nelly Boxes’ and chosen an elephant as her logo.

She explained: “We’ve all heard the saying ‘elephants never forget’ and I wanted people to know that their babies – the babies that were so loved, regardless of how long they were with us – will never be forgotten.

“It’s estimated that baby loss affects at least one in four women – and men – today. In reality, the number is probably much higher than that, as so many people suffer in silence.”

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