Thinking of you on Mothers’ Day

We know that, whether you’ve experienced the loss of a baby in pregnancy recently or some time ago, occasions like Mothers’ Day can be a painful reminder of what has been lost.

We’d really appreciate it if you could share this image today to let other mothers who’ve had a miscarriage, or ectopic or molar pregnancy know that they are not alone and that the Miscarriage Association can provide information and support.

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/s…/how-we-can-help/

?#?mothersday?

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Making sense of research

It’s not uncommon to read media headlines reporting ‘new information’ about the causes of miscarriage.  Whether it’s low vitamin D levels, pre-pregnancy vitamins or working night-shifts, they can all make women feel blamed, that they could and should have done something to prevent their miscarriage.

It’s the Miscarriage Association’s job to get beyond the headlines, to read and analyse the research reports carefully, to discuss them with trusted advisors and then to explain what those findings mean in practice.  Often it’s about explaining the difference between a link, a risk and a cause.

Here’s a good example, from January 2014.

Vitamins

In January, 2014 the Daily Mail reported results from a Danish study* which found that pregnant women were a third more likely to miscarry if they took vitamin supplements before conception.  Unsurprisingly, the article immediately rang alarm bells, both for women and for some of the health professionals caring for them.

Reading the original research article clarified a few things:

First of all, the authors referred to a ‘modest’ increase in risk, specifically amongst women who took multivitamins in the 5 to 6 weeks before conception.

Second, the multivitamins they referred to were those in the most commonly used multivitamin in Denmark, which has a rather different formula from the pre-conception and pregnancy preparations on sale in the UK.  One key difference is that the Danish multivitamins included Vitamin A, which is generally not recommended in pregnancy preparations.

Third, this was an association, not a cause.  Even though there was a higher rate of miscarriage among the women who reported taking multivitamins before conception, it couldn’t be shown that this was the cause of their miscarriages.  There might have been something else that they had in common, other than the vitamins.

Consulting with our experts, we concluded that taking a specialist pregnancy preparation is highly unlikely to be harmful and may well be helpful if for women with a poor diet.   If you’d rather not take any such supplements – apart from the folic acid supplements that are recommended in pregnancy – a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is probably the best start there is.

*Periconceptional intake of vitamins and fetal death: a cohort study on multivitamins and folate, by Ellen Nohr et al. Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on 21 Jan 2014 (online)

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16-25? Tell us your story.

Last year we did some research to help us provide better support for young people. You can read a more about it here.

Words people used

The young people we spoke to said that they found it really helpful to see films of other young people talking about their experience and the help they received. In fact, creating more personal stories was voted the number one thing we could do to help improve our website.

We’re working with a video production agency but we need your help. If you had a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy as a teenager or in your early twenties, and would be interested in telling your story on camera or publishing a written version, we’d really like to hear from you.

For more information or to sign up, please follow this link.

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Pregnancy after loss

Finding out you are pregnant after a previous loss or losses often means a mixture of hope and anxiety.

You want to be positive but still worry that things might go wrong again, and you are likely to be on constant alert for signs and symptoms.

You probably don’t find it helpful when well-meaning family and friends tell you that everything will be fine…

Our online forum has a special section for pregnancy after loss, where women offer each other support and comfort through the scary days, weeks and months.

Our Nottingham and Rainham support groups  run meetings for women who are pregnant after a previous loss.

They all know just how hard it can be, and their understanding and support can help you through, whatever the outcome this time round.

 

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Special circumstances

Pregnancy loss is never an easy experience, but sometimes there are individual circumstances or particular kinds of loss which can make it even harder to cope with.

In a new area of our website we talk about the emotional experience of coping with:

You can also find information and support on coping with miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and molar pregnancy in our types of pregnancy loss section.

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Improving our website – with thanks to Google

What’s happening? Is it something I did? What’s a fetal pole? Why do I feel this way?  When can I try again?  

It’s the Miscarriage Association’s job to provide accurate information and sensitive support after pregnancy loss – and to make it as easy as possible to find what you need.  So we’re very grateful to Google for awarding us a Google AdWords Grant* that helps us highlight our information on Google search result pages.

We’re making the most of this opportunity by improving our website design too.  So now you don’t have to work too hard to find information on ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy in amongst the information on miscarriage – you’ll find them here and so too will new visitors searching on Google.

It’s a work in progress – and it will continue to be, as we increase the information and support that we offer and strive to make it as easy as it can be for you to find what you need when you need it the most.

 

*The Google Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy and the arts. Google Grants is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google AdWords.

 

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A new year…

As this year gives way to the next, we send you all our very best wishes for 2015.

For those of you who are coping with loss or anxiety, we hope that you find the love and support you need to help you through.  May 2015  be a year which brings your hopes and dreams closer.

For those of you celebrating a new life, we hope it brings you continued joy.

For our friends and supporters, we thank you for your kindness and generosity during 2014 and hope you will continue to support our very special charity in the year to come.

Warm wishes

The Miscarriage Association team

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Coping with Christmas

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, we know that this time of year can be difficult for those who have been through miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.

Although our office will be closed from 4 p.m. on 24 December until 9 a.m. on Monday 29 December, you will still be able to find support or information via our website as well as through our support volunteers.  You really don’t have to feel alone.

You may also like to take a look at our Lights of Love tree – a memorial to babies loved and lost in pregnancy.  On our online tree, each star holds a message of remembrance to a baby or babies lost through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy – creating a beautiful place to mark those brief lives.

Our warm wishes to you all

The Miscarriage Association team

 

 
 

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Flu jabs in pregnancy can save lives

A report* published yesterday highlights the importance of flu jabs for pregnant women.  MBRRACE-UK’s report on maternal deaths and morbidity studied the cases of 321 women who died in pregnancy or shortly after birth between 2009 and 2012.  They found that 1 in 11 died from flu and more than half of these deaths could have been prevented by the flu jab.

Professor Alan Cameron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), commented:

“… Maternal deaths in the UK are rare [but] … the report highlights the importance of pregnant women having the flu vaccination when it is offered to them. This prevents poor outcomes for both mother and baby.

“Much work has been done to provide the flu vaccine to pregnant women and it is vital that they and the health professionals involved in maternity care have the vaccination to protect themselves against seasonal influenza.”

If you are worried about whether the flu jab is safe in early pregnancy,  the answer is yes, unless your doctor advises otherwise (because of a medical condition).  The evidence shows that the risks of flu to mother and baby are much higher than the risks of the vaccine.  See http://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/flu-vaccine-pregnancy.

You can also read Public Health England’s guidance for doctors here.

Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care: Lessons learned to inform future maternity care from the 2009-2012 UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal deaths and Morbidity.

 

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Lights of Love: remembering babies who died in pregnancy

At this time of the year, as the days get shorter, our minds start to turn to the upcoming holiday season. It’s traditionally a time of celebration, but we know how hard it can be for those who’ve experienced a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.

The M.A.’s Lights of Love tree is a memorial to babies loved and lost in pregnancy.  On our online tree, each star holds a message of remembrance to a baby or babies lost through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy – creating a beautiful place to mark those brief lives.

We also have a small tree in our Wakefield office.  Covered in tiny white lights, the tree offers an alternative memorial spot – or you might like to use both.  You can read about both options here.

Whether or not you choose to use the trees, please do remember that we’re here to offer support via phone, email, our online forum, Facebook and local support volunteers.

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