The campaign, which has received backing and support from medical experts and members of the site, is calling for improvements to the care of women who have miscarried. Proposed changes include better training for staff, faster access to scans and better information about all aspects of miscarriage.
The parenting site found that many mothers who had lost their babies had horrendous experiences in hospitals, with some having to wait a number of days before they were able to have a scan to confirm their baby is dead and others actually being treated in wards full of expectant mothers and mothers who had recently given birth to healthy babies.
The website undertook a survey of almost 1,400 women, and found that 63% of those surveyed who miscarried whilst at home following on from a scan felt they were not given enough pain relief. In addition 21% had to wait a period of three days or more for a scan to confirm their baby was dead, 35% who required a surgical procedure had to wait four or more days, and 48% received hospital treatment alongside expectant mothers and newborn babies.
In order to improve care for women who have experienced a miscarriage, mumsnet are proposing a simple 5-point code of practice, which would by no means ease the hurt of miscarriage, but could make a dramatic difference to the level of trauma parent’s experience. The 5 points are as follows:
• Better training for healthcare staff to help them be more supportive.
• Faster access to scanning.
• Safe and appropriate places for treatment.
• Good information.
• Joined-up care.
According to Carrie Longton, one of Mumsnet’s co-founders, there has been a huge amount of discussion on the site surrounding this topic. Longton, who has suffered a miscarriage herself, said that though her experience of the NHS during that time was that they provided her with choices, she wasn’t in the right state of mind to really understand the implications of the decision that she made.
“They said you can have a D&C [dilation and curettage, a surgical procedure] or miscarry naturally. Natural sounds better, but what they don’t explain, or you can’t take in, is how much it is going to hurt. And at some point you are going to have to flush your baby down the toilet. To you it is a baby. It was going to grow up and go to school. You are passing these clots of blood and somewhere in there is your baby and you are going to have to flush the toilet.” She said.
Though Longton went on to say that the staff who looked after her were all very caring people, she said it was clear that they were over-stretched and therefor were not always as sympathetic or helpful as they could be.
If you have suffered a miscarriage and are struggling to cope with the after effects then you may benefit from discussing your experiences and thoughts with a counsellor in confidence. If you would like to do this, please visit the homepage of this site and use the search tool to locate a qualified professional in your local area.
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Visit the Mumset website at www.mumsnet.com