A BARRHEAD mum who suffered 10 miscarriages in the space of seven years is urging employers to be more understanding towards parents dealing with “traumatic loss.”

Nicola McGowan, who gave birth to son River four months ago, wants more companies to sign up to the Miscarriage Association’s pregnancy loss pledge, which would mean employees who miscarry before 24 weeks are paid bereavement leave.

She spoke out after East Renfrewshire Council signed the pledge.

Under current UK legislation, women who lose their baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy must rely on annual leave, sick leave or unpaid leave if they feel unable to return to work.

Nicola, 35, has said all people – both men and women – who suffer a miscarriage should be supported in the same way as someone who has a stillborn child.

“We had a wee baby four-and-a-half months ago but he was a twin and, unfortunately, we lost his wee brother or sister," she added. "Since 2015, we have lost 10 babies, so it took us a while to get him.

“I was very lucky and was actually given bereavement leave. There was a lot of understanding from my bosses but my husband had a difficult time.

“His work closes during Christmas and summer, so he can’t take any holidays outside of that. There were no options for annual leave and he didn’t get paid if he phoned in sick.

“He was told by his company that he had to get back to work. He couldn’t take any time off at all and I needed him at home, as my mental health suffered a lot during my first miscarriage.

“I think I was off work for about three or four months. Thankfully, as time went on, I managed to cope a bit better.

“It has a massive impact on people’s mental health and you don’t want to have to rush back to work or deal with the public if you work in retail.”

Nicola's first miscarriage took place in 2015.

She said: "We lost our first baby on our honeymoon in Cuba and my husband couldn’t take any more time off. We also lost twins in 2019.

“One of my pregnancies was ectopic, which involves minor surgery. I struggled to do things afterwards, even lift a kettle.”

It wasn’t until this year that the couple finally had a successful pregnancy but it wasn’t plain sailing.

Nicola added: “Our little miracle came along. He was an IVF baby and survived the odds.

"He was in special care for a week, so it wasn’t smooth.”

Following the loss of her twins in 2019, Nicola decided she wanted to raise awareness of miscarriage and launched a non-profit organisation to donate self-care boxes and run support groups.

Last month, she opened a 'baby bank' in Barrhead, which operates twice a month and offers nappies, wipes and other baby goods.

She said: “We've had loads of donations. People have been giving us prams and car seats, so we are hoping to make it weekly.”