Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 24 weeks. It is the most common kind of pregnancy loss, affecting around 1 in 4 pregnancies, with 85% of those happening in the first trimester (early pregnancy loss). About 1 in 100 women in the UK experience recurrent miscarriage (two or more pregnancy losses). Losing a baby is a very personal experience, affecting people in different ways. It can be a very sad, stressful or lonely experience.
Symptoms of miscarriage
The most common symptoms of miscarriage are:
- vaginal bleeding, which can be light or heavy, dark or bright red. There may be clots. Vaginal bleeding may be continuous or come and go over a few days.
- abdominal pain or cramping, which may be in the lower abdominal area. If pain is towards one side of the abdomen, there is a risk of it being a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
But sometimes there are no signs at all. Miscarriage is usually diagnosed or confirmed on ultrasound scan.
Feelings of miscarriage
Losing a baby is a very personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to feel about it. You may feel sad, stressful, frightened, angry, empty. There can also be feelings of shock, grief and loss.
For some people, it can be challenging to talk about the experience of miscarriage. Some women may also feel guilty, wondering if they might have caused the miscarriage. When in a relationship, people may have different ways of coping with the loss, and different ways of expressing their emotions. Sometimes family members or friends may be dismissive and struggle to understand, which can lead to feelings of loneliness.
Getting support for miscarriage
Women and couples experiencing miscarriage need to get appropriate support for this challenging time in their lives. People may need different kinds of support.
1. Professional support:
If you believe you may be miscarrying, call 111 to speak with a doctor or nurse. You can also attend the nearest emergency department.
There are several associations and organizations available, with lots of information and even helplines.
- The Miscarriage Association https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk Helpline: 01924 200799
- Tommys https://www.tommys.org/baby-loss-information-and-support Helpline: 08000147800
- The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust https://ectopic.org.uk Helpline: 020 7733 2653
- Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation https://www.ectopicpregnancy.co.uk Helpline: tel: 08450704636
3. Connect with others
Through social media which is often a common source of support from others who have experienced similar situations. There are also local support groups which offer a safe space where people can meet and share their experiences and feelings. Going through miscarriage and baby loss is one of the most difficult experiences to go through. The strategies above can help you cope with this challenging circumstance.
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