Thanks to The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman for this article about her experience of miscarriage. It is raw, honest and very moving, and she raises important questions about why it is that we don’t talk abut miscarriage. Why is it that women are often encouraged not to mention that they are pregnant until they reach 12 weeks because of the risk of miscarriage? It assumes that we would want to keep losing a baby secret, that it is something to be hidden and not talked about. For some people, this may make things easier but for many others, not being able to talk about something so heartbreaking can make it even harder to cope.
Miscarriage is devastating whenever it happens in pregnancy – and if you’ve taken time to get pregnant in the first place, it can feel even more overwhelming. If you, or anyone you know, is affected by miscarriage, the Miscarriage Association, can offer support and advice and is a really helpful source of information.
It is fabulous news that Tommy’s has opened a specialist nationalist centre to investigate the causes of miscarriage. Miscarriage is far more common than many of us realise and all too often women are told that investigations can only be carried out after they’ve been through three miscarriages. This is traumatic for anyone, but it is particularly difficult for a fertility patient who will first need to be lucky enough to get pregnant three times, only to lose their very precious pregnancy.
The new centre is going to be the biggest centre in Europe and will be dedicated to preventing early miscarriage. Three universities have joined together to run specialist clinics which will be part of the centre – the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, and Imperial College London. It is hoped that 24,000 women a year will be able to access the support offered and to take part in the research studies.
The statistics on miscarriage are stark – 200,000 mothers and their partners are affected every year with 85% of miscarriages occurring within the first 12 weeks. You can find out more about the pioneering new national centre here. If you have personal experience of miscarriage after fertility problems, you find the Miscarriage Association leaflet on Fertility problems and pregnancy loss helpful
I’ve only just seen this incredibly moving article in The Guardian about the experience of miscarriage – you don’t need to have been through the loss of a pregnancy yourself to empathise with this piece. It does make you think about how little other people appreciate or understand what it feels like to lose a baby – especially when this happens more than once. Well worth reading – thanks Amy for writing it.
If you are affected by miscarriage, the Miscarriage Association can offer really valuable help and support.