Holly Willoughby was overwhelmed with emotion when a This Morning viewer opened up about suffering a miscarriage during the ongoing UK-wide lockdown.
The broadcaster received a phonecall from a woman named Sarah, who asked on-air psychologist Emma Kenny for advice.
“Even if you have a partner with you, you feel like it’s a very personal journey,” Kenny said.
“It’s really hard for people to understand what a massive grief and loss it is. Just be aware that this is something really personal, you also need to reach out and talk to other people.”
The moment prompted a discussion surrounding what to do if you suffer a miscarriage during lockdown, when many early pregnancy units are having to limit the services they would provide to women in such circumstances.
Here’s what the Miscarriage Association advises.
Can I access hospital services?
The Miscarriage Association states that early pregnancy units are limiting their services in order to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in hospitals and reduce the risk of spread. Additionally, they are having to limit services due to reduced staff numbers.
That said, the organisation clarifies that anyone who experiences severe pain, heavy vaginal bleeding or other acute symptoms will be seen and assessed in hospital, either by a specialist team or in the Accident and Emergency Department.
Can I bring someone with me to the hospital?
It’s unlikely that the hospital will allow that due to the aforementioned reasons.
For example, the Miscarriage Association states that women visiting hospitals to attend ultrasound scans will not be allowed to bring another person with them.
“That can be very distressing, we know but again, it’s to reduce risk,” the organisation states.
What treatment will I be offered?
Due to Covid-19, there are fewer allowances for non-emergency surgical procedures under general anaesthetic.
Therefore, the majority of women suffering from a missed or incomplete miscarriage will be offered advice on natural medical management at home where possible, whereby women are encouraged to allow the miscarriage to happen on its own without using drugs or surgery to speed it up.
In any case, national (NICE) guidance states that natural management should always be the first method to consider, particularly in the first eight or nine weeks of pregnancy.
What are the risks?
Roughly one in every 100 women will suffer an infection from miscarriage, which is usually treated with antibiotics.
Approximately two in every 100 women will have heavy bleeding that will require a blood transfusion and possibly emergency surgery. In these instances, women will be seen at a hospital.
Some miscarriages will not complete on their own, leaving pregnancy tissue in the uterus. Occasionally, women may need surgery in order to remove the tissue.
What can I do to make it as easy as possible?
The Miscarriage Association advises stocking up on sanitary pads, pain-killers and emergency contact numbers.
“You may want to make sure you have people on hand or at the end of a phone to support you,” it adds.
How can I find out more information?
If you want to know more about what to do if you suffer a miscarriage in lockdown, visit the Miscarriage Association for information and support or you can phone its helpline, 01924 200799, which is open on Monday to Friday from 9am till 4pm.