Using the internet when pregnant after miscarriage
Easy access to the internet can be both a blessing and a curse when you are pregnant after a miscarriage*.
The internet can help you find information and support whenever you need it. On the other hand, there is a lot of misinformation, difficult experiences and upsetting images online. Different content can affect people in different ways. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming.
On this page we share some suggestions for ways to manage your relationship with search engines and use the internet safely and mindfully during your pregnancy.
* Please note that we often use the term ‘pregnancy loss’ to include miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy. But sometimes, using the word ‘miscarriage’ for all three makes it easier for people to find the information they’re looking for online when using a search engine.
Searching for information and reassurance
When you have a question or concern about your pregnancy, the ideal course of action would be to speak to your midwife (if you have one yet), doctor or Early Pregnancy Unit. But it can take almost impossible strength to wait for an appointment or phone call when it’s so easy to search online.
If you need to look for answers online, try to be mindful of why you are searching.
- If you are looking for an answer to a specific question (for example, whether you can eat a certain type of food) make sure you use a trustworthy website. You can see a list of websites with the NHS Information Standard certification here. The Miscarriage Association does not provide medical advice but is a source of very useful information online and via its helpline.
Your articles were really informative and reassuring. I consciously didn’t look elsewhere.
- You may find yourself looking for reassurance online (for example general statistics or information). Pregnancy after loss is an uncertain time and this can be a way of trying to regain control and feel less anxious, even for a short period of time. Think about how you feel after these searches. Do you feel better or worse? How long does it last? You may not be able to stop completely but it can help to recognise what you are doing and why.
I did some really deep dives into Google, looking for that elusive statistic that would reassure me. I haven’t ever told anyone about them, not even my husband.
There is a lot of really good support online, but it is important to use it in a way that works for you.
The Miscarriage Association Pregnancy after Loss Facebook groups and forum
Our Pregnancy after Loss Facebook groups and forum section are online spaces specifically for people who are pregnant after loss. They can help you feel less isolated.
“It’s helpful to hear lots of women going through similar experiences – particularly emotional reactions and how to cope.”
People use them to:
- discuss things they find difficult with people who have had a similar experience and who know how they feel,
- talk to others at a similar stage in pregnancy to them,
- ask for reassurance about concerns,
- read about other people’s experiences,
- feel less alone knowing others have similar anxieties,
- find information and suggestions from others,
- share positive stories and celebrate new babies.
Some people have told us that online groups are not always helpful for them. Being exposed to the anxieties of others can sometimes be overwhelming or triggering.
We asked our members how they look after themselves while looking for support in online groups.
- Use the group that matches the stage of pregnancy you are at.
- Ignore and scroll past posts with content warnings when you are feeling vulnerable.
- Interact with positive posts.
- Use the search function to find topics you would like to read about rather than scrolling through all the content. This can help you find people who are at a similar stage in pregnancy to you.
- Send a private message to people you connect with, or who are at a similar stage of pregnancy.
- On Facebook you can mute the group so it does not appear in your feed. You can find it by searching but you will not see posts when you do not want to.
Other online support
The Miscarriage Association also runs a monthly support group on Zoom for people who are pregnant after loss. If you are not sure whether this is for you, it is OK to come along and leave at any point.
The PAL Zoom was helpful as hearing from other women helped me feel more understood. But on the other hand, once I had the 13 week scan, I decided not to attend again as I was worried others’ anxiety would feed into mine.
We also offer an email and live chat helpline service. These can be useful if you would like to look for one-to-one support online.
We have more general information on using our online support services here.