8 October 2020

Australia’s largest IVF provider Virtus Health takes on the stigma of miscarriage

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Virtus Health

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Virtus Health has been announced as the proud partner of a new documentary, MuM: Misunderstandings of Miscarriage, which debuts on Stan this October. The partnership is an important part of the organization’s social responsibility agenda and includes a company-wide policy update for early pregnancy loss to be formally included in compassionate leave.

Kate Munnings, Virtus Health Group CEO, explains why the Company decided to support Neon Jane Productions and THIS. Film Studio in the production of this emotive film. MuM shares the intimate pregnancy and miscarriage journeys of many courageous women including Australian actress and filmmaker Tahyna MacManus. 

“As Australia’s leading provider of assisted reproductive services, we wanted to stand with the families who share their real, raw and honest stories in the documentary and be a part of this important conversation,” said Kate Munnings.
 
“We believe in the film’s powerful messages. That no woman should feel alone when dealing with miscarriage grief; that miscarriage grief is real and should be validated, no matter how early in the pregnancy the miscarriage occurred. 

“The film encourages for more organisations to include early pregnancy loss in compassionate leave. As a result of sponsoring the film, we have formalised our compassionate leave, which now includes early pregnancy loss. 

“On first glance, the partnership might seem an unlikely fit – we specialise in helping people become parents through assisted reproductive treatments, and yet the film is about pregnancy loss. As a purpose-driven company, Virtus Health is proud to lend its voice to the messages in MuM. We know that the journey to becoming parents doesn’t always go to plan.

The work that our nurses, counsellors and fertility doctors do every day involves supporting families through their personal experiences of the highs and lows of pregnancy. This aligns with the strong women and families in the documentary as they share their experiences of the highs and lows with pregnancy.

“It’s a partnership that we hope will benefit our patients and our staff. I was personally moved by the stories in the film; I’m hoping the shared experiences will remove the secrecy and stigma that many feel about this topic and will help in the healing process for both patients and staff who experience pregnancy loss,” said Kate Munnings.   

The film is produced by Neon Jane Productions, in partnership with THIS Film Studio, M&C Saatchi Group’s film and television production arm. Executive Producer Michael Lawrence is an expert in authentic, long-form storytelling, known for films such as Bra Boys, Fighting Fear and most recently Save the Shark featuring Mick Fanning. He comments:

“At THIS. Film Studio, we’re focused on unlocking the potential of the human spirit with our content. As storytellers, we’re passionate about content that can make powerful and meaningful change. We’ve done just this in working with Neon Jane Productions to create Misunderstandings of Miscarriage and are proud to partner with Virtus Health to bring this message of support to life”.

Over the next month, Virtus Health will release a series of short videos produced by filmmaker Tahyna MacManus as she continues her quest to understand the physical, emotional and psychological impacts of miscarriage. 

Kate Munnings said the short videos have been produced to help medical practitioners and support staff demystify miscarriage, to help create conversation starters on an important but difficult topic; an experience which occurs with 1 in 4 pregnancies.

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