Miscarriage Australia conducts leading research into the support needs of those affected by miscarriage – women, partners, family, and friends. We also research how we can better support healthcare providers caring for those affected.
The loss was both physically and psychologically traumatic… some healthcare providers added to that trauma’: Women’s experiences of miscarriage.
This study explored the psychological distress experienced by 15 women affected by miscarriage, as well as the perceived support provided by healthcare professionals. Women made recommendations to improve the service of healthcare providers, including referral to a psychologist, and offering ongoing follow-up after their miscarriage to assist when needed, with managing their distress.
Women & Birth (2019) Australia
‘It’s just one of those things people don’t seem to talk about…’ Women’s experiences of social support following miscarriage: A qualitative study.
This study explored the social support experiences of 15 women at the time of miscarriage. Both positive and negative social support experiences were reported. For most women, their partner was their central support figure. Some identified other women who had previously experienced miscarriage as helpful and supportive. Women reported a vast public silence surrounding miscarriage, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
BMC Women’s Health (2018) Australia
‘There was just no one there to acknowledge that it happened to me as well’. A qualitative study of male partners’ experience of miscarriage.
This study explored the miscarriage experience of 10 men. Men are often greatly affected by miscarriage and yet there is all too often little acknowledgement or support available to them at this time. Men affected by miscarriage wanted and needed further support, including reputable, Australian based information and resources tailored their needs.
PLOS One (2018) Australia
Healthcare provider’s views and practices in caring for women experiencing miscarriage.
This study of 12 Australian healthcare professionals (midwifery, sonography, and medicine) explored their views, practices, and perceived role in supporting women following miscarriage. HCPs viewed their role as reassuring women they were not at fault, which they achieved by stressing how common miscarriage is. Follow-up practices varied, and where they did occur, focused on physical recovery. Participants typically relied on women to express any need for further support.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2018) Australia
Online health seeking behaviours: What information is sought by women experiencing miscarriage?
In this study, 12 women were interviewed about their online health seeking behaviours in the event of miscarriage. Women wanted factual information about miscarriage, miscarriage prevention and current research advances, delivered by credible sources in an easy-to-understand manner. Women were also seeking online support through other people’s shared experiences and for their family and friends.
Studies in Health Technology Informatics (2018) Australia
Men’s lived experiences of perinatal loss: A review of the literature.
This review explored the current literature (studies) on men’s experiences of perinatal loss. Perinatal loss can have negative implications for men’s psychological and social well‐being. Across the studies men had various levels of attachments to the pregnancy, influencing their emotional responses to the loss. Men perceived their primary role as being a supporter to their partners but received limited support themselves. Men often reported that their safe and trusting attitudes toward pregnancy had forever changed.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Early pregnancy assessment services in Australia: What psychological support is available? A qualitative study.
This study explored psychosocial support provision in Australian Early Pregnancy Assessment Services (EPAS). Interviews with 29 health care professionals and key informants showed many services were co-located with antenatal services, run by doctors with limited experience and most did not offer any psychosocial training to staff specific to EPAS. Referral for additional emotional support for first trimester miscarriages was generally not offered, and follow-up typically focused on physical care. All staff demonstrated a strong commitment to providing best possible care to women and acknowledged the need for improved psychosocial support.
Women & Birth (2021)
Whose role is it? Primary care and the provision of emotional support for women experiencing miscarriage: a pilot qualitative Australian study.
This study explored the views and practices of 8 GPs caring for women who have experienced miscarriage. We found most GPs felt it was their role to provide emotional support which included expressing empathy, listening, and normalising miscarriage to mitigate guilt and self-blame. Others felt this was the role of social networks and pregnancy loss support organisations. Most GPs did not offer follow up appointments for emotional support after a miscarriage unless a patient requested it.
Australian Journal of Primary health (2020)
The need for improved emotional support: an online survey of Australian women’s access to healthcare services and support at the time of miscarriage.
This study – undertaken with The Pink Elephants Support Network – surveyed 399 women about their healthcare experiences at the time of miscarriage. More than half were not offered any information about miscarriage or support services or any referral for emotional support. Almost all women reported they would have liked to be asked how they were coping emotionally, to receive referral for counselling and to receive leaflets for support organisations.
Women & Birth (2021)
Healthcare support: How can we do better in supporting those impacted by miscarriage?
This study explored the support experiences of 16 women affected by miscarriage and their views on what support is needed, when it is needed and who should provide it, as well as their recommendations for improvement. Participants suggested areas for increased clinician support, including mentioning the possibility of miscarriage earlier in routine pregnancies, offering more information before and at the time of miscarriage, providing emotionally sensitive care and offering follow up and psychological support.
Australian Journal of Primary Health (2021) Australia
Miscarriage Australia: the use of a human centered design approach to design and develop a website for those affected by miscarriage
The Miscarriage Australia website was successfully implemented and commended by users as meeting their needs. As a result of using human centered design, the Miscarriage Australia website provides an ideal template or blueprint on how to develop a successful and useful digital resource for users, particularly around sensitive women’s health issues.
Frontiers in Public Health (2023)
We know all too well the significant psychological impact of miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage: so where is the support?
Miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage affect a significant proportion of every population with research consistently showing it results in profound and often prolonged psychological impacts. Despite the serious psychological impacts, support for miscarriage remains grossly inadequate.
Fertility and Sterility (2023)