Early pregnancy loss can be a very distressing experience. Apart from the emotional upset, you have to cope with the physical trauma and face the loss of all that the pregnancy meant to you as your body returns to normal. This leaflet aims to provide you with some of the answers to any questions you may have at this difficult time.
Pain and bleeding
Following an early pregnancy loss we would expect any pain and bleeding to have stopped after approximately 2 weeks, whilst you are bleeding we advise you use sanitary towels not tampons.
If the pain and, or bleeding persists, gets worse or you have a vaginal discharge that smells offensive please contact the advice line as you may have an infection or require further treatment.
As part of your follow-up care you may have been asked to perform a home pregnancy test three weeks following your pregnancy loss, it is very important that you contact us if this test is still positive as you may require further treatment.
If the pregnancy test is negative this means you require no further follow-up care. We recommend you use contraception during this period. Your next period is usually four to six weeks following your early pregnancy loss and this may be heavier or lighter than usual.
When can I go back to work?
There are no hard and fast rules, some people take longer to recover than others and may need more time off.
You might find it hard to face people and harder still to concentrate on work or you may gain comfort from the routine of work and the support from your colleagues.
There is no right or wrong way to feel following early pregnancy loss. You, your partner and family may experience a range of emotions such as shock, anger and sadness. Everyone has different ways of coping with these feelings, for many it helps to talk to family and friends about how you are feeling.
You may also find it useful to talk to other women who have experienced early pregnancy loss. The Miscarriage Associate can put you in touch with such women and provide you with further support. Please visit: www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk
Many families tell us they found speaking to a chaplain about their feelings and thoughts, helpful at this difficult time. You do not have to be religious to speak with a member of our chaplaincy team. Details are available by visiting the south tees website.
Remembering your baby
Many people want to do something special to remember their baby or help them say goodbye.
What about a blessing for the baby?
Babies born before 22 weeks of pregnancy are cremated together in one communal casket. Their ashes are scattered within the Baby Garden of Remembrance at Acklam Crematorium, Teesside. Cremations are usually monthly, and a short service is conducted prior to the committal, by a hospital Chaplain. You are welcome to attend the service.
Service of remembrance
In December every year we hold our annual baby and children’s memorial service. This special service is open to all families of all faiths and is often attended by several staff members. Usually, it is held on the first Sunday in December and takes the form of a traditional carol service.
If you would like information about our memorial service, please contact:
Baby loss awareness week
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place between 9 and 15 October every year and offers a wonderful opportunity for families affected by baby loss to unite globally.
Baby Loss Awareness Week concludes with the global “Wave of Light.”
Across the world families light a candle at 7pm local time and leaving it burning for at least one hour to remember all the babies who have died too soon.
Here at South Tees, we support Baby Loss Awareness week by raising awareness, lighting candles and remembering each precious baby. More information can be found by visiting the Baby Loss Awareness Week website.
What else can you do?
You may find some of these ideas helpful:
- A children’s memorial book is located within the hospital chapel at James Cook Hospital where your baby’s details can be recorded.
- Plant a tree or flower in memory of your baby.
- Make a donation to your charity of choice.
- Write a letter or poem to your baby.
Can we have a memento?
If you had an early pregnancy scan it may be possible to have scan photo. We also offer a pregnancy keepsake, please ask your midwife or nurse if you would like this.
Looking to the future
How long should we wait before trying again?
It is possible to get pregnant before your first period so the usual advice is to wait until after your first period as this makes it easier to calculate how many weeks pregnant you are.
If you want to wait a while before trying again you may want to talk to your GP about contraception.
How should I prepare for the next pregnancy?
Try to take care of yourself with a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you smoke, we strongly recommend that you stop for your own health and for the health of future pregnancies.
Folic acid is an important supplement to take in early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects which are defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord which develop very early in pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.
We understand that if you fall pregnant again you may be anxious due to your previous pregnancy loss so if you have any pain, bleeding or concerns you can contact the early pregnancy advice line for advice and support. If appropriate we may offer you an early pregnancy scan.
If your early pregnancy loss was:
- An ectopic pregnancy
- A molar pregnancy
- Your third miscarriage in a row
You will be offered an early pregnancy scan at 7-8 weeks, this can be arrange by phoning the early pregnancy advice line.
How to access psychological support
There are a range of services that can provide you with support following your early pregnancy loss.
- Improving Access to Psychological Therapies IAPTS
Tel: 01642 573924
- North Yorkshire
Telephone: 01609 768891
- Catterick Garrison VVADS (TEWZ)
Telephone: 01748 831964
- The Miscarriage Association
The chaplains can be contacted on the following numbers, where non-urgent messages can be left on the voicemail:
- James Cook Hospital
Telephone: 01642 854802
- The Friarage Hospital
Telephone: 01609 763275
Or you can contact the team by email: [email protected]
If you require further information please contact us on:
- Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit, James Cook Hospital
Telephone: 01642 854519 (24 hour advice line)
- Maternity Day Unit, Friarage Hospital, Northallerton
Telephone: 01609 763134 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
- Email: [email protected]
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]