Donna’s story

Donna’s manager was supportive when she experienced miscarriage, but she wishes he had advised her colleagues to behave in the same way.

There was no HR or guidance policy for pregnancy loss and no one really knew how to treat my grief.

I had three miscarriages, and the final one was a missed / silent miscarriage so I was off work for a month going through the medical process.

My direct manager was absolutely amazing while I was off.  He just gave me the space I needed, allowed me all the time off that I thought I needed and was there to support me.  I also found out after I left, that he protected me from the senior managers there who just had no understanding of why I needed the time off or why for the next couple of months, my performance might not have been where it needed to be.

However, what was happening to me was almost treated like office gossip by my colleagues. There was a complete lack of understanding that I had lost my baby, that I was waiting for an operation and going through a very traumatic time.

As supportive as my boss was, this was not discouraged enough, in my mind. I was seen as being “off sick” rather than going through a grieving process and when I did come back there were comments like “about time you came back”, “enjoyed your time off?” which at the time was incredibly insensitive.

I felt like I had the time I needed but not the understanding. There was no HR or guidance policy for pregnancy loss and no one really knew how to treat my grief.  Also, my husband was only given 2 days off annual leave and he was allowed no time to grieve, he wasn’t even allowed to come to all the appointments I had within that month I was going through the missed miscarriage.

I absolutely do not see any malice in people’s behaviour but there is a complete lack of acknowledgement and understanding that in my mind, I had lost my baby, I was grieving, I was scared, it was life changing.

This is where companies must do better.