THE makers of a deeply moving new documentary have spoken of their wish to break down the wall of silence around miscarriage and stillbirth in Scotland.

Gaol is Call/Labour of Love will be shown on BBC Alba on Tuesday, and follows BBC news broadcaster Mairi Rodgers, who lost her daughter Annie when she was five months pregnant in 2016.

Rodgers struggled to come to terms with the trauma of giving birth and the emotional struggle of being faced with either silence about Annie, or finding the words to talk family, friends and colleagues about the devastating loss.

Next week is national Baby Loss Awareness Week. Rodgers told the Sunday National: “This was a deeply personal documentary to make and quite daunting in a lot of ways but I really feel it has to be seen.”

She added: “It didn’t sit well with me the way I’d handled losing Annie. I felt uncomfortable talking about her, it made me even more uncomfortable when my husband Lachie said her name.

“I think I just felt that we had to move on very quickly. Part of it was the way people were talking to me as in ‘Oh you’ll be able to try again straight away’, or ‘Just put it behind you’, so I didn’t really have a chance to sit and grieve.

“It is so comforting for someone just to ask you what was her name, did you have pictures of her, what did she look like?

“People are already sharing their stories with me, which is good because we have to be able to talk about this issue.”

Other bereaved parents speak frankly in the film about the heartbreak of miscarriage and stillbirth, and the reverberations which moved through their lives after the death of a baby.

Lisa Hague and her partner, former Celtic football player Kris Commons, lost their daughter Lola when Lisa was eight months pregnant. Lisa decided not to hold her daughter Lola when she was born, and says “I deeply regret that, I deeply regret not holding her and not seeing her.”

Gaol is Call producer and director Helena Gallagher said the silence around baby loss is understandable but can be unbearable for parents. “I believe this film needed to be made,” she said.

“I cannot put into words the respect and admiration I have for the families who took part in this film. It has been a privilege to share their stories.”

In Scotland in 2016/2017 there were 232 recorded stillbirths.

The Scottish Government are funding a new project with the charity Sands to establish a minimum standard of bereavement care for families – the National Bereavement Care Pathway – to end the current postcode lottery of bereavement support.

While some health boards offer bereavement midwives and counselling, in other areas mothers have to give birth in wards next to newborn babies, and are not offered counselling.

“The Pathway project will make a difference,” said Kate Mulley, director of research, education and policy at Sands.

“We need much more consistency in bereavement care for women and their families and that isn’t there in the NHS at the moment. The Pathway aims to establish a set of minimum standards for parents – opportunities to make memories, the physical space in wards, and to create training for staff.”

Professor Alan Cameron, an expert in stillbirth and a past chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists agreed much more could be done. “I think sadly recourses are stretched. Dedicated bereavement midwifery support and psychology support is there in some places but definitely not in others, and that’s why the Pathway approach led by Sands will be a good step forward for bereavement care in Scotland.”

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick told the Sunday National that Scottish Government buildings will be lit in pink and blue on Tuesday as a sign of support for Baby Loss Awareness Week. He added: “Any miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of a baby is a tragedy for the family involved and our sympathies are always with them.

“We are aware of the variations in the support provided to bereaved parents. Our review of maternity and neonatal services ‘Best Start’ recommends that where a family is bereaved, they should be offered access to appropriate bereavement support before they leave the unit and that each maternity and neonatal unit should have access to staff members trained in bereavement care.

“The National Care Bereavement Pathway currently under development, and funded by the Scottish Government, will support this.”

Gaol is Call/Labour of Love is on BBC Alba on Tuesday 9 October at 9pm, and then available on iPlayer.