'People can be dismissive' - calls for better support for women who have miscarriages

Couple Lauren Sutton and Tom Quegan are calling for more support after Lauren had three miscarriages.

There are calls for mandatory care for women who experience miscarriages, with claims a lack of support is contributing to a mental health crisis.

At the moment a woman has to have three miscarriages before being able to access a package of care - with many given no support other than being told to "try again".

Now several pregnancy loss charities and an MP who went through the experience herself are calling for more to be done.

Little psychological support is offered to many women who lose their babies and so it is often now left to charities like Mariposa Trust in Paignton to help them.

The trust's CEO Andrew Clark-Coates said: "Clinicians, whoever that may be - whether that be doctors, nurses, midwives, bereavement midwives - are so time-stretched in what they have to do with so little resources that often they're not able to offer all of the care and support that people actually need.

"So often it can be a matter of minutes that people an have with somebody to be told they've gone through loss - and often they need so much more support than that and greater compassionate care needs to be offered."

Mary Makepeace is director of the Willow Tree Centre which offers support to women out of its base in Yate, in South Gloucestershire.

She said: "People can be dismissive about miscarriage but any form of baby loss - whether it's in a matter of weeks or closer to full term is absolutely heartbreaking. It's that loss of hope, loss of dreams - they feel as though their body's a failure."

Lauren Sutton has experienced multiple miscarriages and eventually had a face-to-face appointment with her doctor after the third time.

"I was bawling my eyes out, completely unsure as to whether it was my medication, if I had been lying in the wrong position... even then it was just 'oh, try again, that's the fun part'.

"It's the last thing you need to hear."

MP Olivia Blake is calling for more support for women.

Now policymakers are lobbying for change. MP Olivia Blake had a miscarriage last year and recently spoke in the Commons to call for a high standard of care.

"It just opened my eyes to a whole different world of issues with this three miscarriage rule - the lack of support, the patchy variants in different services around the UK," she said.

"I think there's so much more that can be done through commissioning to improve and make sure that consistency is there for people who are experiencing miscarriages.

NHS England says it is opening 26 new maternal hubs offering bespoke mental health services associated with pregnancy.


Where to get support