If you are reading this because you have experienced the loss of a baby, we would like to tell you how sorry we are for your loss. The loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy is such a distressing experience, and we want to offer you the support you need.
Everyone is different and has different needs. The amount of support and contact you need might vary over time, so we are here when the time feels right for you.
There is further information about additional support below. All the groups listed are informal and provide a safe, caring environment to listen and be listened to during this very difficult time.
This is the name given to the loss of a baby during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriages that happen before 13 weeks are known as early miscarriages, and those that happen between 13 and 23 weeks are known as late miscarriages.
Experiencing the loss of a baby at any stage is devastating – it doesn’t matter how far along the pregnancy was. Everyone copes with loss differently – there is no right or wrong way to cope with miscarriage. It is completely normal to grieve and need support to get through this difficult time, but some women and their partners may not feel that they need additional support. This is entirely your choice – your midwife will be there to support you and signpost you for any additional support you might need.
Unfortunately miscarriage is common, and thought to affect as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies. In most cases we don’t know exactly why a miscarriage happens, but it’s often due to chromosomal issues that mean the baby could never have developed properly. This means that it’s not your fault, and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. Most women who have a miscarriage can go on to have a healthy and normal pregnancy, but if you have experienced multiple losses, it’s a good idea to see your general practitioner (GP) to check whether there is an underlying problem.
Symptoms of miscarriage can include:
None of these symptoms mean that you’re having a miscarriage, but if you experience any of these
symptoms, you should seek medical advice:
If you bleed heavily, you must go to A&E without hesitation.
Miscarriage is usually diagnosed by an ultrasound scan, although you may need other tests.Sometimes you may need to stay in hospital overnight, but you can usually go home the same day.
This is the term for the loss of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy, and can happen before or during birth. Stillbirth is often linked to a problem with the placenta, which then causes issues with a baby’s growth, development and oxygen supply. There are other causes, such as pre-eclampsia, maternal haemorrhage (heavy bleeding), gestational diabetes, and other complications such as cord prolapse.
Experiencing stillbirth is traumatic for parents and their families, so we have specially-trained midwives to help and support you. The bereavement or baby loss midwives will first make contact with bereaved families while you are in hospital.
Once women are discharged from hospital, you will still receive routine midwifery care
We arrange additional visits, depending on individual personal requirements, from your team midwife and a specialist bereavement midwife / baby loss midwife. Further support continues by phone, text or email, remaining personalised to your needs throughout.
On some rare occasions a baby born alive may die in the first few hours, days or weeks of life. This may be because they are born extremely prematurely or have a known or newly diagnosed condition or illness and the baby is not expected to survive. Or this may be an unexpected death in the hospital or at home. Every situation is different. Babies who are born alive and die within the first 28 days of life are registered as a neonatal death.
The bereavement support midwives are here to support families during the first weeks and months of the baby passing away and can guide families to more long term support if needed.
Support and advice is also available from the following places: