Content warning – this blog may be triggering, please only read if you feel safe and able to. There are signposting options to support at the end. 

Miscarriage – where to start? 

By Kathy, Gloucestershire MVP Chair

The loss of hope, the loss of a future.  

We have been speaking quite a bit about early miscarriage in the MVP recently. Mainly about the  support from clinical services when someone experiences an early miscarriage, particularly before 8 weeks.  

Before 8 weeks of pregnancy your care is through your GP. After 8 weeks your care is offered through the midwifery service. You can book your first midwife appointment at 6 weeks of pregnancy. However, even then you will still be under GP care until 8 weeks. So if you do experience a miscarriage in this time, it will be your GP who you will see if you need any advice, support or medical care.

Back in 2018, I had an early miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant. They (I don’t like calling babies ‘it’) were my second baby. I can vividly remember that day. I cancelled the plans I had at a baby group with my 6 months old daughter, my husband was out at work, and I spent most of the day crying, watching Cbeebies, and clinging to my daughter. The utter loss of hope was overwhelming. My husband and I had already mapped out our family, dreamt about the future and started talking about names, all very excited. We were planning to tell family that weekend.

I consider myself relatively lucky in terms of a miscarriage experience, if there is such a thing. I had a daughter, this time round we hadn’t had to wait long to get the magic lines on the pregnancy tests, and although emotionally and physically painful, the blood loss was fairly quick. I can only imagine how emotionally devastating it must be to have multiple miscarriages or need medical intervention. I am truly sorry if this is your experience and for anyone experiencing a miscarriage at anytime.  

What has come to light in a lot of our conversations and through feedback from our members of the MVP is that it may be tricky to get the right support at this time. The maternity services do have a specialist midwife for baby loss, and the midwives themselves would be able to signpost you if you are under their care (after 8 weeks of pregnancy). However, before 8 weeks, you may find yourself experiencing a miscarriage without anyone really to talk to as you’re not currently in the ‘maternity system’. Your GP should also be able to signpost you to support. But if like me, you have a fairly straight forward miscarriage, you may not ever encounter your GP, or you may go to them for advice, but they may not know all the options out there.  

So, we wanted to think about what the MVP can do. What support can you expect in this time and what can you access in the community? Firstly, do go to your GP if you experience any complications or you are at all worried. If you have already booked your 8 weeks booking appointment, you may want to call ahead and cancel it, rather than receive a call from a midwife in a few days expecting to book you in.

And then search out community support. There is support and you are not alone. Sadly 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage.  

Here is a list of groups that we are aware of, if you know of any others, please do let us know so that we can update this.  

Please also note, that if you experience a miscarriage after 8 weeks, you will be on a different pathway of care, as you are under maternity services care. The midwives will be able to advise and support you. You can still reach out to all the community options above.   

I want to end to say that wherever you are on your maternity journey, I really hope you have someone to speak to. Whether that’s a friend, family, partner or a community support group. It may be you want to talk now, in a few weeks, in a few months or whenever you feel ready. You are not alone.