"How miscarriage care could be better"

About: Milton Keynes Hospital / Gynaecology Milton Keynes Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I had a missed miscarriage at 13 wks in 2002. At my scan I was told my baby had no heartbeat. I was devastated but thankfully went on to have two beautiful daughters. I then suffered another miscarriage, this time a proper one, at 11 weeks. However, I coped better second time round because I already had my daughters.

I believe a miscarriage affected me far more the first time round mainly because I was so worried it meant I couldn't have children. I felt very angry - why me? I didn't realise it is so common.

I believe girls should be educated about miscarriage in school. I had no knowledge about miscarriages or past experience from family / friends having had miscarriages so I was totally unprepared and shocked. I had gone to get my scan picture to show everybody, I had no idea this might happen to me. I then suffered five months of depression, pretty much, worrying I might not be able to have children. Having children was all I had ever wanted.

Although the nurses were kind, they didn't explain much. They then led my husband and I to a small room in the labour ward (!) for what seemed like hours (probably 2 hours) whilst we waited to see the doctor. It was very hard to see all the ladies there with their new born babies. We waited and waited and thought the doctor had something to tell us. Eventually, the doctor came, and appeared to ask us what we wanted. We didn't know what to say, and felt like a nuisance, because the ward was clearly busy.

After that, we went home and I had to wait three days until my D&C could be arranged. I thought, at the time, it was horrific that I had to carry my dead baby inside me for that length of time, but as it turned out, it gave me time to say goodbye.

The D&C ward was the outpatient ward where women also went for abortions. I felt uncomfortable to be around ladies who were there because they didn't want their babies, but now I know it wasn't an easy time for them either, whatever their reasons.

Afterwards, a midwife came to see me once. I think I asked for the visit. I cried and felt very uncomfortable. She looked very awkward and had no answers. I didn't feel she understood. I have since read about miscarriage and know now that we often don't really know what causes miscarriage. I think midwives need training to cope with miscarriage. They need to have information at hand, help groups and most of all, a lot of reassurance to give.

Please don't think I am ungrateful to the doctors and nurses. I realise what a hard job it is, and I'm ever grateful for the help all the staff gave to me whilst giving birth to my daughters since, but I wanted to share this with you in case it might help how miscarriage is now dealt with.

I hope this is useful to those who are looking to improve services in this field.

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Responses

Response from Ruth Bender Atik, National Director, The Miscarriage Association

Dear Clarebear

I'm so sorry to read about the loss of your babies. Miscarriage can be such a devastating experience to go through, both emotionally and physically, and it can take longer than people expect to recover.

You make some very important points. We need to talk more openly about miscarriage - about how (sadly) common it is, about the causes, how people might feel, the chances of a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage. And we need to support NHS staff in providing good and sensitive care, in the right place and at the right time, so that others like yo get the care, information and support that they need.

Do get in touch with us at the Miscarriage Association if you feel we might be able to help.

Ruth

Helpline: 01924 200799

e-mail: info@miscarriageassociation.org.uk

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

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Response from Milton Keynes Hospital

Please accept our apologies for the dealy in our response, this has been due to technical difficulties on the Trust accessing the NHS Choices Website. We now have a dedicated early pregnancy assessment unit which is run by specially trained staff and in a separate area, this enables women who are having early pregnancy problems to be seen quickly and by dedicated staff who can ensure they are having the correct investigations. We also have the support of a bereavement midwife for those women who require extra support and a new Butterfly suite which is a dedicated room on the labour ward which opened last year, which parents can use before, during and after delivery of a stillborn baby. Thank you for taking the time to feedback to us about your experience

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