COLUMN: Support is out there after miscarriage

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A friend of mine recently sent me an article which focused on miscarriages and the impact it had on men as well as women.

Reading the article I began to reflect and suddenly realised I had never worked with a male client who had disclosed he had been affected by a miscarriage. However, I had worked with several female clients who had.

This raised questions for me around why this might be the case. Is it primarily because women will form more of a bond with the child as they carry them?

Alternatively, could it be men feel the need to stay strong and support their partners through an extremely emotionally challenging time? Whatever the reason, miscarriage can be a devastating time for families, particularly if there have been problems conceiving in the first instance.

I cannot even begin to imagine how it feels to have the feelings of excitement and jubilation cut short and replaced by ones of extreme sadness and sorrow. For some couples they may successfully conceive and have children subsequent to a miscarriage, but for others this may not be the case.

In the article I read it talked about a lack of support for grieving couples and, in particular, the lack of support for men. Couples reported they were effectively sent home from the hospital, some with pills to induce the miscarriage and then left alone, certainly emotionally anyway. The challenge we have is that within the NHS there still exists long waiting lists and the affected individuals need immediate support after a tragedy.

The alternative to this of course is for individuals to enlist the support of a private therapist, however there are cost implications in this and for some this is not a financially viable option. This leaves many people in limbo with an apparent lack of support at a time when they are extremely vulnerable.

I am in the fortunate position where I have never experienced this, but I have received messages from some who have and the traumatic and painful undertone in their words is evident for me to see, but impossible for me to understand.

My advice to people affected by this is to keep talking to each other. Whilst inevitably people will find their own way through, keep in mind there will always be at least two people involved who are feeling the despair and whilst it’s commendable to stay strong for the other, that strength will only be transient if you are internally falling apart.

If you have been affected by a miscarriage, there is support available online and through your GP as well as through private therapists.

Please don’t suffer in silence.