Norfolk mum who suffered seven miscarriages calls for more support for grieving parents

  • ITV News Anglia's Katie Ridley went to meet Caroline Pocock

A mother-of-two who suffered seven miscarriages and thought she would never become a mum has calling for more support for families dealing with loss.

Caroline Pocock from Wymondham in Norfolk has fallen pregnant nine times since 2009, with seven of those ending in miscarriage. 

She said she had been left feeling lonely and isolated due to a lack of support - recalling the "terrifying" experience of being told that she was miscarrying her baby.

After the 39-year-old got married to her husband Karl, they started trying for a baby, not realising the heartbreak they would face. 

“We thought like a lot of other couples [we'd] get married, have children, and it will be quite straightforward," said Mrs Pocock, who works as a reflexologist.

"And then obviously, we lost the first one and I was told it was just bad luck. It's one of those things. And then I went on to have a further four miscarriages realise that actually, it probably wasn't one of those things, and I began to think that I would never become a mum.”

After her sixth miscarriage, she fell pregnant with her son Zachary in 2012, but was left feeling anxious and concerned that it could happen again. 

Caroline, Karl and their son Zachary.

Mrs Pocock said: “We wanted to give Zack a little brother or sister. It didn't really go to plan, and I had another two miscarriages.

"The last one was one that was particularly horrible, I ended up in A&E.

"And we decided between us as a family that we wouldn't go through it again.”

After losing all hope, Mrs Pocock unexpectedly fell pregnant with her son Rafferty in 2020, but instead of enjoying her pregnancy, she was constantly worried that she would miscarry again.

"You find that you're pregnant, you look at the pregnancy stick - and I did about 10 tests each time just to make sure I really was pregnant," she said. "But then I prepared myself mentally that actually it wasn't going to happen, even though I was pregnant at the time."

Mrs Pocock is now calling for more support for families who suffer a miscarriage, as she felt the lack of aftercare left her not knowing where to turn.

"You can go to a GP and they'll say 'yes, you're probably miscarrying'. They might send you for a blood test, if you're lucky.

"Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, they may send you for a scan again, if you're lucky.

"And then once they've said 'yes, we're losing a baby' depending on how far along you are, you can just be sent home. And that's it.

"You don't hear anything else and it is terrifying.” 

She then sought help from the charity Tommy's, which supports women through pregnancy and miscarriage.

Amina Hatia, midwifery manager at the charity, said: "At the moment in the UK the NHS system is that people need to experience three miscarriages before they start getting investigations for recurrent miscarriages, and we at Tommy's don't think that's good enough.

"We think that one miscarriage is too much and that actually women should be getting support right from the beginning."

Mrs Pocock hopes she can encourage others to speak up and not suffer alone.

Mrs Pocock is now training to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Tommy's to raise money for the charity and encourage others to speak out.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Every loss of a child is a tragedy and we want to make sure anyone who experiences miscarriage receives the best possible care and support from the NHS.

 “A new approach will soon support NHS trusts to deliver more personalised care for recurrent miscarriages - helping women through every step of their journey from the very first time it happens, including treatment options and management of future pregnancies.”

Where can women go for support if they have suffered a miscarriage?

Tommy's has a detailed support page on its website for people who have suffered a miscarriage.

The Miscarriage Association offers support to people who have lost a baby. They have a helpline on 01924 200 799.