ITV presenter Andrea Byrne says miscarriage services must improve ahead of documentary

Andrea shares her experience whilst hoping to break the stigma around miscarriage

ITV presenter Andrea Byrne has said miscarriage support services need to improve ahead of a new ITV Cymru Wales documentary about the issue.

Andrea shared her own personal experience in 'Miscarriage: The Hidden Loss', which will air on Thursday, October 6 at 9pm on ITV Cymru Wales.

Speaking on Wales at Six, Andrea explained: "As journalists, we're often asking other people to tell their very personal stories and this is something I wanted to be talked about more. I thought that maybe this is the time I use my personal story to do that.

"I just felt going through those experiences - the way miscarriage is talked about, sometimes people say the wrong thing because they don't understand the emotions involved, but also the care and support along with it - maybe we're slightly lacking and could be better.

"I heard people on television and radio talking about infertility issues in the past and we went through that for a long time. And I really connected with that, it made me feel more normal, that my emotions were normal and that what I was going through was ok. So I wanted to start that conversation."

Asked whether she believes there is hope for more miscarriage care and support in the future, Andrea highlighted work being done by the Health Minister, the Women's Health Strategy for Wales and better understanding.

Andrea with her daughter, Jemima. Credit: Andrea Byrne

"There are loads of reasons to hope, but it helps when people talk about it - it drives that forward," she said.

"We were lucky. We had Jemima, our story ended with Jemima. Not everyone gets a Jemima. And we address that in the programme as well and that's really important."

Andrea has previously spoken publicly about her experiences of infertility in the hopes of helping others experiencing similar issues.

She and her husband, Lee, were told by several doctors that due to complications with a defective womb lining, it was unlikely she would ever be able to carry a pregnancy.

She has been pregnant six times. Two were miscarriages shortly before 12 weeks of pregnancy and the others were what’s known as a chemical pregnancy - or a very early failure.

Andrea and Lee married on New Year's Day in 2012. Credit: Andrea Byrne

But, after multiple IVF failures over seven years, several operations and the trauma of pregnancy loss, the couple welcomed their daughter Jemima in 2019.

"To hear her giggles echo round the house is nothing short of miraculous. She is living proof that fertility science still has so much to learn because, in the end, she was conceived naturally.

"And we are thankful for her every minute of every day", Andrea said previously.

Around one in seven couples have trouble conceiving, according to the NHS. But the discussions around fertility and miscarriage are often seen as a taboo subject.

In 2020, Andrea launched the podcast ‘Making Babies', which gave the ITV Wales presenter a platform to speak to other people about their wide-ranging journeys of trying to start a family.

Miscarriage: The Hidden Loss airs on Thursday, October 6 at 9pm on ITV Cymru Wales. You can catch up afterwards here.