According to Mumsnet campaigners changes within the NHS would significantly lessen the trauma of early pregnancy loss for parents.
Jamie-Leigh, 20, described her experience with the NHS as distressing. “I had to wait three hours to be seen.” She said.
The mother-of-one started to develop pains 7 weeks into her pregnancy. “I knew something was wrong straight away, the griping pains told me I was going to lose my baby.” She said.
“I was so shaken up, I needed reassuring everything was going to be ok, no one reassured me. This is when I knew I was going to lose it.” She added.
On arrival at Tameside hospital, Jamie-Leigh explained how everything went from bad to worse. “I passed the embryo alone in the toilets, I then had to wait three hours for someone to come and look at me and the embryo.
“When a doctor finally came to look at me, he clearly didn’t read his notes as from my name he was expecting a male patient. He asked me what was up with me, which later followed with him telling me to go home.” She said.
Jamie-Leigh described the situation as a joke as the doctor told her only to come back if she was bleeding heavily. “I asked him what to do but he just told me to go home, he didn’t even check everything was out. I had to ask a nurse who said she couldn’t be sure. The whole situation was a joke. I was so shocked with how I had been treated.
“I got made to feel thick, as though I should know what happens. I was very upset as I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had no support.”
Mumsnet have launched a campaign to better miscarriage care. Over the years, many readers have shared their stories of poor treatment during and after miscarriage. Thus they have drawn up the Mumsnet Miscarriage Code of Care to help better the care that should come at this sad time.
A spokesperson from Mumsnet said: “The code proposes a series of simple changes to current health service practice.
“We believe that, if it’s fully implemented by the NHS care providers, these changes would significantly lessen the trauma of early pregnancy loss for parents.”
The Mumsnet Miscarriage Code of Care is calling for, supportive staff, access to scanning, safe and appropriate places for treatment, good information and effective treatment and joined-up care.
“This could really reduce the trauma experienced by many miscarrying parents.” She added.
Tommy’s is an organisation, which believes it is unacceptable that one in four women will lose a baby during pregnancy and birth.
Jules Robertson, a midwife at Tommys thinks women should be treated with sensitivity as the loss of a pregnancy is an incredibly distressing time for a woman and her family.
“At this sad time a woman will experience emotional shock and grief as well as often physical symptoms, so of course the woman needs to be treated with the utmost sensitivity, sympathy and compassion at this difficult time and indeed the weeks and months after.”
Jules states how she feels that there is a gap in care from when a woman first finds out she is pregnant to when she has her first meeting with a midwife.
She said: “This gap in care can be a difficult and uncertain time for most pregnant women. So women who then experience a pregnancy loss during this time can feel even more lost, confused and unsupported, as there has traditionally been little follow-up offered once a miscarriage has been confirmed.
“I believe in recent years the care and support offered by nurses and other staff has improved, but perhaps improvements could be made in regards to allowing women to talk about their experiences and express their grief. Or at least ensure a woman and her family has appropriate support once they leave the hospital.” She added.
Lisa Bruce, senior support worker at The Miscarriage Association believes the quality of health care crucially affects a woman’s experience of miscarriage.
She said: “Good health care minimises the trauma and assists the woman in her recovery, poor health care can add to the distress”
Ruth Bender Atik, the national director at The Miscarriage Association states: “Despite improvements in medical care and an increase in public and media recognition of the misery which miscarriage can cause, there is still resistance on the part of both health professionals and the public to accept the emotional dimension of miscarriage.”
Organisations such as Tommy's and the Miscarriage Association have tried to bridge this gap and offer support, advice and information about miscarriage - including counselling services.
Tommy's also funds medical research into the causes of miscarriage, as well as providing a free information service that educates all parent-to-be about health in pregnancy.
Anne Haggert, Matron for Women’s Services, at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust hit back and believes good improvements have been made to help women and their families who have had a miscarriage.
She said: “In Tameside we have a memorial service annually for anyone who has had a pregnancy loss including a miscarriage.”
The Supervisor of Midwives also added: “Occasionally staff make comments which are well intended but the context of this is mistaken by the women as uncaring.
“My staff treat all women with kindness and compassion and have guidelines to help them in delivering a standard of care.”