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Renewed push in Massachusetts to increase resources for families who endure pregnancy loss

BOSTON — This week marks ‘National Infertility Awareness Week’ and a new proposal in Massachusetts is pushing for better support for families who endure pregnancy loss.

Some state lawmakers want pregnancy loss and other devastating disruptions to family building to qualify for ‘paid time off’ under the state’s new paid family leave law.

Boston 25 News Reporter Kerry Kavanaugh is spotlighting a Stoneham couple’s story of loss and healing, who tell her the time to heal is vital.

“I’ve been battling infertility and pregnancy loss now for almost three years. This upcoming October was my first loss,” says Stoneham resident Maurine Braun.

Maurine Braun and her husband Matt have endured pregnancy loss six times. Some were conceived naturally, and some with the help of In Vitro Fertilization or IVF.

She said the furthest she’d gotten was during her third pregnancy, which lasted nine weeks.

Maurine says her most recent pregnancy was just this past year, but it was ectopic, which is when the embryo was growing in her fallopian tube.

“My tube actually ruptured and somehow the embryo was actually blocking it from bleeding out. That child actually saved my life.”

Maurine works for a Massachusetts biotech company and says she has paid sick time she could use. But she also knows not everyone does when coping with these losses.

“What do you do when you go through an ectopic like I did? What if it was a work day for someone? Let’s say I didn’t have sick time. Let’s say I didn’t have paid vacation time. What do you do with them? It’s horrible,” says Maurine.

State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, of Northampton, is pushing for new legislation, An Act Relative To Paid Pregnancy Loss Leave, that would make pregnancy loss, failed fertility treatments, adoptions, or surrogacy arrangements qualifying events under Mass. family paid leave law.

“I think sometimes we think of pregnancy loss only as miscarriage. And the bill really tries to say we need to make sure people are better informed about all the different possible ways that one can experience this loss,” says Sabadosa.

Sabadosa also filed a pregnancy loss awareness bill to ensure all providers are up to date on the scope of both mental and physical implications that can come with family-building struggles.

“You’ve lost a life there and you need time to cope with it, to really deal with it emotionally, physically,” says Matt Braun.

Matt and Maurine say that’s a lesson they’ve learned through experience and they believe by speaking out they will empower others to realize they’re not alone.

Kavanaugh: “What do you want people to take away from your story?”

Maurine: “This is more common than they think and that we should be supporting those who are going through infertility treatments, those who are going through losses. And for those going through it, just give yourself the grace that you need to.”

Kavanaugh will continue to follow the progress of this legislation.

If you have suffered a loss while family building and are seeking resources, help is out there.

Resolve New England | Building Families, Building Community

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Association

American Society for Reproductive Medicine - ASRM

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