You may have experienced a pregnancy loss or losses, recently; or a while ago. The pandemic may have added to your anxiety, compounding the feelings of shock ,helplessness, emptiness, grief, loss, fear and jealousy. For many it may have been and still is, trying to conceive and concerns about access to fertility assessment and treatment or going through treatment that is increasing anxiety. The trauma and emotions experienced by women and their partners are often intense and care needs to be sensitive. Ensuring you access the appropriate support for you and your partner/family is so important and knowing that not only your family and friends can support you but also health care professionals and charities/organisations.

As Mental Health Awareness week comes to an end, there has been a week of reflection with many activities taking place to bring mental health to the forefront.

1 in 4 people in the UK has experienced a mental health problem, with the pandemic meaning that many people have experienced issues with their mental health to varying degrees. If not ourselves experiencing difficulties, we may have supported a friend or family member. Research is supportive in its role in mental health and long term studies are underway looking at the effects the pandemic has had on people’s mental health.

Ongoing studies are looking at the physiological impact of early pregnancy loss at the time of the loss and over a period of time. Miscarriage and pregnancy loss can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The National Bereavement Care Pathway has been set up to improve the care parents in England receive after pregnancy loss.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness this year is nature. This is more poignant this year having spent months in lockdown . Mental Heath UK outlined 5 ways to improving our mental health/ wellbeing:

Connect : Build new connections. Speak to people in your life.
Be active : Physical activity is well reported to decrease anxiety and depression
Take notice: Take in our surroundings, enjoy the moment and appreciated what matters. Keep learning: Try something different or re visit an old hobby.
Give: Time, goodwill and generosity. Do something nice for a friend or even a stranger.

If you feel that you are needing support or to talk to someone outside of your friends/family there are some contacts that you may find helpful. It is important to know that there is someone who can help or signpost you to the right people to help you and that you do not have to do this on your own.

Tommy’s midwife 0800 0147800/ midwife@tommys.org

Miscarriage association.org.uk

Ectopic pregnancy trust 020 7733 2653/ectopic.org.uk

If you need urgent help

MIND mind.org.uk

Samaritans Tele: 116123

ED/999

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