Last night on Eastenders, the character Whitney and her boyfriend Lee were told they’d lost their baby, after a heartbeat wasn’t found. As someone who’s had miscarriages, for me to watch it was truly heartbreaking, as I imagine it was for others who have experienced miscarriage and baby loss.
At the same time however, I would like to say, what a perfect day they could show this episode on – the second day of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Also, a huge “well done” to Shona McGarty and Danny Boy Hatchard for their portrayal of the trauma their characters were going through.
I’d also like to point out, the way Whitney and Lee were treated was how you should be treated during and following a miscarriage. Sadly though, this isn’t always the case.
So many women are left after miscarriage to get on with their lives, given no explanation on what happens next, sometimes not even offered a check up to see everything has moved on in their body as it should. Additionally, more and more women are reporting recently that they have been offered no psychological aftercare following the loss of their baby.
The physical implications following a loss are obvious. Bleeding, cramping, risk of infection etc.
What aren’t so obvious are the psychological implications.
The NHS website explaining what happens following a miscarriage states “A miscarriage can have a profound emotional impact, not only on the woman herself, but also on her partner, friends and family. Advice and support is available during this difficult time.”
You can read the rest of what the NHS ‘suggest’ should happen here. To me, this is an unfair and unrealistic outlook on what people should expect following a miscarriage, because, really, it doesn’t always happen like that.
I’ve previously blogged about the lack of aftercare following my 3 recurrent miscarriages and how since those, I’ve been left with mental scars which manifest themselves as PTSD, Anxiety and Depression.
I am not alone.
This has to change. The need for aftercare is something we shouldn’t need to be campaigning for – it should already be available for all women and their partners and families from the second they’re told that devastating news.
The NHS shouldn’t be offering encouragement to women and their families, that they’re not going to get, building hopes up, of counselling and aftercare, when that might not happen.
This week especially, but also every day throughout the year should be used to promote the necessity for aftercare after baby loss.
Change is needed.
For more information on how you can help raise vital funds to help improve the service to parents and families who have gone through, or are going through baby loss, please see;
Tommys Donation Page-where you can find information on how to donate, and what your money will pay for.
Tommys fundraising page-where you can find information on how you can fundraise in numerous ways to help fund the research Tommys would like to be able to do.
The Sands Donation Page-where you can find information on how to donate to their charity and what your money could pay for.
The Sands fundraising page-where you can find out how you can fundraise to raise money for their charity.