Our helpline: 01924 200799 Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm

Media queries

The Miscarriage Association is an expert resource for advice, information and comment on the facts and feelings of miscarriage.

We recognise that print, broadcast and online media want to provide sound information, news and features; and that journalists and researchers seek wherever possible to source reliable facts and figures.

We also appreciate your assistance in raising public awareness of miscarriage, in helping to provide important information to your audience and in reducing the taboo associated with miscarriage.

We are always happy to help whenever we can, supporting responsible media coverage of the facts and feelings of miscarriage.

We can:

 

Contact: Ruth Bender Atik – National Director

Tel:        01924 200795  (Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm)
Mob:      07527 070046
e-mail: ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk; or ruth.benderatik@ntlworld.com (out of office hours)

Please note: Out of office hours, our helpline number (01924 200799) provides contact details of support volunteers. Please don’t contact them with media queries.

 

You can read our comments on recent research, news stories and events below.

 

Miscarriage Association launches new e-learning resource for medical professionals: 7 August 2019

The Miscarriage Association has developed a new e-learning resource to support medical professionals in providing the best care they can to women experiencing pregnancy loss.

The resource is based on the real experiences of health professionals and those who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, and includes films and interactive activities.

The resource takes around two hours to complete, and is an excellent tool for continuing professional development and learning towards revalidation.

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director at the Miscarriage Association, said: “Pregnancy loss can be a deeply distressing experience and the support health professionals give can make all the difference to helping women through this difficult time.

“We know it isn’t always easy for those working in clinical environments to find the time to reflect on the care they provide. This is why we wanted to create a resource that they can dip in and out of and access easily from their phone, iPad or computer, so the training is available to them anytime.”

The five units focus on different aspects of care, such as having difficult conversations, considering language, and taking care of your own wellbeing while providing care.

Cerian Gingell has experienced two miscarriages and is passionate about improving the care that is provided to those who experience pregnancy loss.

Cerian, said: “Miscarriage is a devastating loss, often without explanation. Nothing can take the pain away, but a kind word, the correct information on what to expect next, the truth about what’s happening – these things can all help make a horrible experience slightly less horrible.

“To me, good care is saying ‘I’m sorry your baby’s gone, it wasn’t your fault’. It’s letting me cry, answering my questions with honesty and sensitivity, reassuring me that because it’s happened once it doesn’t mean it’ll happen again. It’s about respect, sympathy and honesty.

“I think this resource is so important and will help create more consistent care across the country. Every single person that goes through pregnancy loss deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion.  Whether they’re speaking to their GP or being treated in hospital, every contact can have a huge impact on the way that person copes with their loss.”

The resource was peer reviewed and produced with the help of Janet Birrell, Gynaecology Matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Nicola Davies, GP at The Pinn Medical Centre, Annmaria Ellard, Miscarriage Specialist Nurse at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Amanda Mansfield, Consultant Midwife at  London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and the Association of Early Pregnancy Units.

Dr. Sarah Bailey, Lead Nurse Recurrent Miscarriage Care and Clinical Research Specialist at University Hospitals Southampton, said: “The Miscarriage Association’s e-learning resource is extremely useful, informative and easily accessible.

“I would thoroughly recommend this excellent training package to any care professional who is involved in caring for women with miscarriage.”

You can access the e-learning resource at: Bit.ly/2Gtniu9 or call the Miscarriage Association on 01924 200795 to find out more.

ENDS

For more details and interview opportunities please contact Ruth Bender Atik, National Director at the Miscarriage Association:

ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk / 07527 070046 / 01924 200795

Notes to editors

About the Miscarriage Association

Founded in 1982, the Miscarriage Association is a UK-wide charity that offers support and information to anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy. Our staffed helpline and online resources help thousands of people every year to get through the emotional and physical distress of pregnancy loss and, in many cases, to manage the anxiety of pregnancy after loss. We work with health professionals to promote good practice in medical care, support clinical research and strive to raise public awareness of the facts and feelings of pregnancy loss.

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Registered office: 17 Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield WF1 3QW

Registered charity no. 1076829 (England & Wales) SC039790 (Scotland)

A company limited by guarantee, no. 3779123. Registered in England & Wales

Miscarriage Association launches mental health resources to provide support during and after pregnancy loss: Tuesday 15 May 2019

The Miscarriage Association has published new resources to help those who experience pregnancy loss find support and take care of their mental health.

The new information aims to support anyone who is finding it difficult to cope, and includes signposting to services and personal stories from those who have experienced mental health problems related to their loss.

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “Going through pregnancy loss may mean you need to take even greater care of yourself for a while.

“Feelings of loss, grief, anxiety and anger are both common and understandable.  However, for some, their loss or losses may be part of what causes a mental health problem, such as PTSD or depression.  And for others, their experience makes existing mental health problems worse.

“These new resources are tailored to support those who have a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy so that they do not have to suffer alone.”

The resources are based on research the charity carried out last year that surveyed almost 2000 people who have experienced mental health problems after pregnancy loss.

Hayley Manning experienced anxiety, depression and PTSD after losing her daughter at 19 weeks’ gestation. She has also miscarried four times.

Hayley said: “Losing my daughter Luna cracked open all of these previous griefs, including the previous miscarriages.

“It was so completely overwhelming. All of this grief made me panic. I realised nothing was safe. I began to have panic attacks, usually in crowded places, but they could happen anywhere. I felt like I was dying or going completely crazy.

“I think resources and support like what the Miscarriage Association provides is so important because miscarriage can be such an isolating, lonely and frightening experience. It’s important to know that you are not alone in whatever thoughts and feelings you may be having.

“Having detailed information about the different types of miscarriages, what you may experience physically and emotionally and where to get help if you need it is crucial in helping women and their partners feel better supported and empowered.”

The new resources include new web pages about the issues, information and a video about accessing counselling, a leaflet and personal stories, and was funded by the QBE Foundation. For more information visit www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Ends

For more details and interview opportunities please contact Ruth Bender Atik, National Director at the Miscarriage Association on ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk / 07527 070046 or Ceriann Rush, Communications Manager at the Miscarriage Association on comms@miscarriageassociation.org.uk / 01924 339207

Notes to editors

About the Miscarriage Association

Founded in 1982, the Miscarriage Association is a UK-wide charity that offers support and information to anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy. Our staffed helpline and online resources help thousands of people every year to get through the emotional and physical distress of pregnancy loss and, in many cases, to manage the anxiety of pregnancy after loss. We work with health professionals to promote good practice in medical care, support clinical research and strive to raise public awareness of the facts and feelings of pregnancy loss.

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Miscarriage Association launches cards to recognise pregnancy loss: Wednesday 17 April 2019

New cards will break the taboo around miscarriage as a life event

The Miscarriage Association has today launched a unique set of cards to recognise and honour pregnancy loss.

In total one in four women who discover they are pregnant will suffer a miscarriage, which can be an intensely distressing and lonely experience. Often friends and family don’t know how to offer support and well-meaning attempts such as ‘you can always try again’ can come across as tactless and insensitive.  The new cards aim to change that.

Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “Shockingly, greetings card retailers stock a card for almost every important life event, except one. These cards recognise miscarriage, and give words to those friends and loved ones who can’t find them.

“Losing a pregnancy is heart-breaking and can be very lonely. Close family and friends often don’t know what to say, say the wrong thing, or just say nothing at all.

“The new cards have been launched to fill that gap. They may even become a treasured memento, the acknowledgement of the briefest of lives.”

The cards have been created for the women and men who go through miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy and the friends, families and colleagues who wish they knew what to say to them.

The cards carry thoughtful messages, approved by a panel of women who have been through miscarriage themselves, and the details of the Miscarriage Association inside, putting help and support directly into the hands of the person who needs it the most.

Natasha Necati has had eight miscarriages.  She commented: “When I had my miscarriages, people meant to be kind, but I did have comments like ‘Sorry for your loss, but at least you know you can get pregnant’ and ‘Don’t worry, you’re still young,’ whereas others just didn’t say anything at all.

“I would have loved to receive cards like these. I especially like the one that says I wish this wasn’t happening to you. I don’t know what to say. But I promise I am here for you.  It says it all.”

The cards will be launched on 17th April and stocked at PostMark’s London stores and online (https://postmarkonline.co.uk/). They were devised and created by creative agency MRM McCann.

For more details and interview opportunities please contact Ruth Bender Atik, National Director at the Miscarriage Association on ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk / 07527 070046 or Ceriann Rush, Communications Manager at the Miscarriage Association on comms@miscarriageassociation.org.uk / 07927 658220

For any further press enquiries, please contact Chloe Kingscote or Manon Durin at Pumpkin on 020 72872007, Chloe@pumpkin.uk.com or Manon@pumpkin.uk.com

Notes to editors

About the Miscarriage Association

Founded in 1982, the Miscarriage Association is a UK-wide charity that offers support and information to anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy. Our staffed helpline and online resources help thousands of people every year to get through the emotional and physical distress of pregnancy loss and, in many cases, to manage the anxiety of pregnancy after loss. We work with health professionals to promote good practice in medical care, support clinical research and strive to raise public awareness of the facts and feelings of pregnancy loss.

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

About MRM//McCann:

 MRM//McCann is a leading customer relationship agency that helps brands grow meaningful relationships with people. The agency leverages the power of creativity, the beauty of data, and the magic of technology to nurture, encourage and sustain strong relationships between brands and their customers – in turn, creating meaningful experiences for people, while driving business results. MRM//McCann is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) and a lead agency in the McCann Worldgroup network, with 40 plus offices across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.mrm-mccann.com or for any questions, please contact Steve Garside on 07590 473 085 or steve.garside@mrm-mccann.com

About PostMark:

The first Postmark store opened in Balham in 2004 and has since expanded with branches across the south and west London. A family run, independent card retailer, we host an extensive range of cards for every occasion both in store and online. At Postmark we LOVE cards and thrive on bringing the best of British and internationally designed cards and stationery to our customers at a reasonable price.

https://postmarkonline.co.uk/

BBC’s ‘Fleabag’ statement: 14 March 2019

‘Fleabag’ has prompted some important conversations, but more awareness is needed, says the Miscarriage Association

Following an episode of BBC’s ‘Fleabag’, the Miscarriage Association has been asked to comment on its portrayal of pregnancy loss.

In the first episode of series two of the show, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, Fleabag, witnesses someone close to her have a miscarriage in a restaurant toilet.

The show has prompted some important conversations, but more needs to be done to raise awareness of the physical and emotional effects of pregnancy loss, says the charity, that supports women and their partners through pregnancy loss.

National Director at the Miscarriage Association, Ruth Bender Atik, said: “I think the miscarriage scene may have shocked some people, especially those who haven’t had that experience.

“Some of our social media followers found it upsetting and triggering. But others have said that if they’d seen it prior to their own miscarriage, they probably would have felt more prepared for what was about to happen to them, and less alone.

“When miscarriage is depicted in the media and on TV, it’s often shown as an emergency but it’s rare for it to include images or descriptions of the very heavy bleeding that can go on for days.

“As shown in Fleabag, this doesn’t always occur in the privacy of your own home or even in hospital. Many women miscarry while at work, in the supermarket, on public transport, or out at an event with family or friends.

“When this happens, women have to cope with very difficult emotions and often shock, while also dealing with the practicalities.  That might include thinking what to do with the pregnancy remains, however tiny or fragmented they are.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who writes ‘Fleabag’ as well as playing the lead character, has not shied away from the physical reality or the emotional impact of miscarriage.

Ruth said: “The emotional and physical aspects are both there, powerfully portrayed – especially the raw anguish when the character who miscarried shouted at her sister ‘get off my miscarriage – it’s mine!’ I think many women and some men too – will have completely related.”

The episode has sparked debate and calls for pregnancy loss to be discussed in schools as part of normal sex education classes.

Ruth said: “What this episode has done is create conversations, particularly about how many women don’t know what to expect when they realise they’re having a miscarriage, and that many partners, friends and colleagues don’t know how to support them.

“By introducing the facts about miscarriage from an earlier age, people would know better how to get help. It’s really important to have this as life education, sexual health education.

“We should be talking about fertility and what happens when pregnancies go wrong, as well as preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Sadly, miscarriage is part of life for many people, and all of us know far more people than we realise who have been through it.”

If you or someone close to you has experienced a miscarriage, you can find more information and support here.

ENDS

—————-

For further information please contact:

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association on 01924 200795 / 07527 070046 ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk or Ceriann Rush, Communications Manager on 01924 339207 comms@miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Certificate of pregnancy loss: 26 January 2016

When a baby dies before 24 weeks of pregnancy, there is no legal recognition of his or her brief life, no birth or death certificate.

While some parents may be relieved that they don’t have to face the ordeal of registering their loss at the local Registry office, others find this threshold immensely distressing and hurtful.

He was my baby. I’d seen him on scan, I’d felt him kick.  How can someone say he doesn’t count?

A recent online petition seeks to lower the age of registration to 20 weeks rather than 24.    That would be welcomed by many parents – although it would not help those whose  babies died at, say 18 or 19 weeks.

Other campaigns have argued that that there should be no threshold at all, allowing the registration of the loss of any baby who dies at any stage of pregnancy.

It seems unlikely that the law on the age of viability will be changed in the foreseeable future, but we believe we have an opportunity now to campaign for the wider availability of certificates of loss for those parents who would like them.  These would not be the same as a legal document, it’s true, but they would go some way to marking these tiniest of lives.

The Miscarriage Association – along with other organisations too – has long encouraged hospitals to offer parents some form of certification for babies lost in pregnancy.  We would be delighted if you would share our guidance for hospitals with your local NHS Trust.

We talk about the emotional impact of late loss here.  Our leaflet on late miscarriage provides information about both the facts and the feelings of this deeply distressing experience.

——

No need to wait to conceive after miscarriage: 30 November 2016

Research published today [1] has highlighted that couples wanting to conceive after a miscarriage don’t have to worry about the risks of trying again too soon [2].

The authors conclude that conceiving within the first six months after miscarriage does not increase the risk of miscarriage or of other adverse outcomes [3] in the new pregnancy.

On the contrary, it showed that pregnancies conceived in the first six months after a miscarriage were actually less likely to result in another loss than pregnancies conceived more than six months later.  Conceiving in those first six months was also associated with a lower risk of a pre-term birth.

Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, from the University of Aberdeen, who led the research, acknowledges that it is not clear why conceiving within six months leads to better outcomes.  Nevertheless, this comprehensive review of all the published studies about the effects of timing of conception after miscarriage has confirmed research she first published in 2010.

The new study concludes: “There is now ample evidence to conclude that delaying a pregnancy following a miscarriage is not beneficial and unless there are specific reasons for delay, couples should be advised to try for another pregnancy as soon as they feel ready.”

So what does this mean for you?

There are several key messages here:

Perhaps it will help to remember that this is a statistical analysis and it talks about averages and trends – not necessarily about you and your circumstances.  It tells us that overall, there is no benefit in waiting and that conceiving earlier can reduce the chance of another loss, though we don’t know why.

We do know that miscarriages happen for many reasons that have nothing to do with pregnancy interval and that most of these reasons are beyond your control.  All you can do is the best you can with your own situation [4], and try again when you are ready and able to do so.

Notes:

[1] Kangatharan C, Labram S & Bhattacharya S Interpregnancy interval following miscarriage and adverse pregnancy outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction Update (2016) doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmw043

[2] Press release

[3]  Other adverse outcomes: pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, low birth weight babies, stillbirth.

[4]  See here.

——

PRESS RELEASE: 25 March 2015

Human Tissue Authority guidance on disposal of pregnancy remains: the Miscarriage Association responds.

Following the publication of new HTA guidance on disposal of pregnancy remains, Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said:

“The guidance contains much to be welcomed. However, it fails to fully address the issues raised when hospitals deal with pregnancy remains.

“We’re pleased to see that the guidance emphasises the need for pregnancy remains to be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect, however early in pregnancy that loss occurred.

“There is clear consideration of the varying needs and concerns and sensitivities of women regarding what happens to the remains of their pregnancy.  And there is recognition that staff who provide information on this topic need to be well informed, trained and supported.

“However, if the woman does not express a preference, hospitals are allowed to dispose of the pregnancy remains along with clinical waste. We feel this is wrong. It seems to assume that not making a decision means not caring and doesn’t take account of the distress and difficulty that many women go through in having to make this decision.  Some women come back years after their loss to ask what happened to the remains of their baby.

“Added to that, the guidance refers several times to ‘sensitive incineration’, when current practice means that there is no such thing, as almost all incineration of clinical waste takes place away from the hospital. Unless there is someone who can ensure that these remains are incinerated in a dignified way, completely separate from clinical waste, we believe that this description is simply untrue and shouldn’t be used.

“We hope the government ministers responsible for this area will reconsider, and follow the admirable lead of the Scottish Government, which has created much better guidance. In the meantime, we can only hope that hospital managers will themselves decide to practise the best possible standards in this sensitive area.”

ENDS

—————-

For further information please contact:

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association

Tel: 01924 200795 / 07527 070046 ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Notes to editors

Background to the Miscarriage Association statement

Most people would rather not think about what happens to the remains of pregnancies following miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy or termination.  For many of those affected by pregnancy loss, however, it matters greatly – even many years later – to know that these remains are disposed of with respect and sensitivity.

Sadly, this is not always the case, as we have noted before.  While previous guidance has recommended that hospitals arrange for pregnancy remains to be cremated or buried, some pregnancy remains are still disposed of along with clinical waste.  This is not illegal but it cannot be described as sensitive or respectful.

We were therefore delighted that the Human Tissue Authority was tasked last year with drawing up new guidance for hospitals and clinics on the disposal of remains of pregnancies ending before 24 weeks’ gestation.  We felt this was an opportunity to clarify the legal position and make recommendations that would drive up the standard of care on this sensitive issue, as has been done recently in Scotland.

Much to be welcomed

There is much to be welcomed in this guidance.  First and foremost it emphasises the need for pregnancy remains to be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect, however early in pregnancy that loss occurred.

There is clear consideration of the varying needs and concerns and sensitivities of women* regarding what happens to the remains of their pregnancy.  And there is recognition that staff who provide information on this topic need to be well informed, trained and supported**.

The recommendations

As before, the guidance recommends that hospitals offer the options of cremation or burial (which may be collective or individual) as well as the option for women to make their own arrangements, including taking the remains home.

In addition, they recommend that hospitals offer women the option of incineration.  This may seem perverse, but it is in recognition of the fact that some women clearly do not wish any special status to be conferred on the remains of their pregnancies.  We accept that some women will choose to have their pregnancy remains incinerated rather than buried or cremated.

Where the guidance disappoints

There are two main areas of serious concern.

A default option

First, the guidance includes incineration as a possible ‘default’ option for hospitals in cases where a woman does not express her wishes within a given time-frame.

The assumption appears to be that if a woman does not state her preference, then the matter is of no importance to her.  It does not take account of the distress that many women experience at having to make this decision, or of any other factors that lead them not to make a decision at all.  It certainly ignores evidence that some women come back even years after their loss to ask what happened to the remains of their baby.

This is truly a missed opportunity to demonstrate high standards of care, particularly in the light of the recent Scottish guidance.

‘Sensitive incineration’

Second, we are very concerned by the description of this option as ‘sensitive incineration’.  This description is completely inappropriate.   Given that almost all incineration of clinical waste takes place off-site, this cannot be guaranteed.  Unless the incineration of pregnancy remains is conducted in a dignified manner, completely separate from clinical waste, and adequately supervised as such, this term is simply untrue and should not be used.

 

* Decisions rest with the woman as pregnancy remains are considered her tissue.

** There is brief guidance for health professionals here .

ENDS

—————-

For further information please contact:

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association

Tel: 01924 200795 / 07527 070046 ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk

 


 

Press release 25 Feb 2013

Miscarriage Association Unveils Awareness Campaign Encouraging People to Open Up About Miscarriage

– With one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, LIDA unveils nationwide campaign –

Direct and Digital agency, LIDA, has created a national poster and guerrilla marketing campaign for the Miscarriage Association, aimed at breaking the silence around miscarriage, which ends one in four pregnancies.

The campaign launches on Monday 25 February with posters located at fourteen train stations across the UK. The outdoor advertising campaign, targeted at stations with high footfall, is being supported by intriguing blue envelopes addressed ‘To anyone’, left in random places around the poster activity.

ma-note

The placement of the blue envelopes reflects the randomness of miscarriage, with the message inside centring on the one in four statistic and encouraging people to start talking about miscarriage, or to speak to one of the charity’s helpline staff.

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “Miscarriage affects many thousands of people throughout the UK every year, and yet it’s rarely spoken about openly. We know that talking about it can make a huge difference to the women, men/partners, families and friends affected by miscarriage, and we hope that this campaign will help to end the silence.”

Nicky Bullard, Executive Creative Director at LIDA, added: “We wanted to highlight the randomness of miscarriage through our powerful little blue envelopes, left anywhere, addressed to anyone.  The high stat means that there is a likelihood you will have been touched by the subject, whether it’s yourself, your partner, your daughter, friend or colleague. We just need to get people talking about it.”

ENDS

—————-

For further information please contact:

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association

Tel: 01924 200795 / 07527 070046 ruth@miscarriageassociation.org.uk

 

 

Credits

Dan Wright                   Copywriter (OOH campaign)

Andrew Pogson             Account Director (OOH campaign)

Jo Legg                            Creative Director (Guerrilla campaign)

Sara Pouri                      Account Director (Guerrilla campaign)

Channel:                         Four Sheet Posters and Guerrilla Marketing

 

About the Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association is a national charity working across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

It was founded in 1982 by a group of people who had experienced miscarriage and we continue to offer support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy, to raise awareness and to promote good practice in medical care.

About LIDA

LIDA is digital and direct marketing agency that focuses on creating Better Customer Connections between brands and consumers.

We create measurable value for brands by using customer understanding to develop action-orientated communications that connect better with customers across all channels.

Key clients include: Virgin Holidays, Boots, IKEA and Intercontinental Hotel Group

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