According to a new study, seventy-five percent of women who experience a miscarriage feel unsupported by healthcare professionals in the aftermath of their loss.
A study, conducted by the University of Melbourne and the Pink Elephants Support Network, interviewed 400 women who had experienced a miscarriage. It found that most of the women had not been offered support services or provided with information following their miscarriage. This lack of support can often lead to mental health issues and emotional stress in later pregnancies.
Miscarriage is common and largely experienced privately, shrouded in silence. One quarter of pregnancies end in miscarriage before 12 weeks, and one in three pregnancies in women over 35 ends in miscarriage.
Director of Pink Elephants Samantha Payne labelled miscarriage “disenfranchised grief”, indicating that if left to their own devices, women can often internalise their grief. This can lead to anxiety and/or depression following a miscarriage.
“We found 88 per cent of women who experienced a miscarriage in the last two years wanted support,” Payne told the Sydney Morning Herald.
A lack of validation of the grief women often experience after a miscarriage can go on to prevent women enjoying healthy future pregnancies.
Payne says there is a gap in the healthcare system and she would be like to see healthcare professionals providing women with the emotional support they need after a miscarriage. More effort in connecting women with support services is also necessary.
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I am 1 in 4. This is a tricky one that took me awhile to share – on one hand I am overjoyed at our impending arrival and on the other hand thinking of the 3 little lives that didn’t make it this far. On this day in particular -Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day – I think of all those little ones and the women and families who had to endure the tragedy of Miscarriage. I began documenting my experience on film in an effort to shatter the shame and stigma associated with miscarriage and loss. Thank you to those who have shared their experience with me so far – I always wish to hear more – if you have a journey to share please email via website in bio and visit @neon_jane_productions for more. #M.O.M
Tahyna MacManus is an ambassador for Pink Elephants. She had three miscarriages but later went on to have two healthy pregnancies.
She says that the trauma from her earlier miscarriages greatly affected her mental health. She also felt emotionally detached and scared during her later, healthy pregnancies.
MacManus went home after her first miscarriage, feeling “like a number” and was never offered any additional information or referred to support services. In time, she did her own research and discovered Pink Elephants, a charity committed to helping women through pregnancy loss. Hearing stories of similar experiences also helped.
“I wouldn’t want someone else to go through what I went through,” McManus said.
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Incredibly grateful for everyone who came together yesterday… #M.O.M #coming2019 special thank you to everyone who shared their experiences thank you to @the_friendly_dope @friendlyfishstudios @silverpantry @rentacam.sydney @boroughstudio @louiscbrandt And @pinkelephantssupport as well as magic makers below #Repost @jessicaameduri ・・・ Can’t wait to get this documentary off the ground with amazing director @tahynamacmanus & @kellytomasich // @neon_jane_productions and big thanks to @louiscbrandt and the rest of the crew and amazing talent who gave up their time to help the cause!