A mumsnet study has found, among other things, that nearly half of all women who think they have miscarried in the UK, have to wait 24 hours or more for a scan to determine if their baby is still alive.
Considering that losing a baby is one of the worst things any parent could ever go through, this doesn't seem fair.
Popular parenting network Mumsnet are in the process of lobbying for better health care surrounding miscarriages.
As part of this campaign, they've commissioned a study of over a thousand women and published some eye-opening statistics.
According to their findings, many women experience a level of care that is well below the desired standard.
We take a look at some of the results of their survey and then give you some important facts about miscarriages.
According to Mumsnet:
- 46 per cent of women had to wait more than 24 hours for a scan to determine whether they had actually lost their baby, with 18 per cent waiting longer than three days.
- 47 per cent of women were treated alongside women who were still carrying their babies, having to share waiting rooms with bundles of happy, expectant mums.
- Considering that 58 per cent of women admitted to wanting counselling, following their loss, it seems quite shocking that only 12 per cent were actually offered it.
- Horribly, 11 of the women surveyed were asked to store their foetuses in the fridge prior to further tests.
- In total, only 15 per cent of women thought they had received an appropriate level of care and pain relief, with one woman saying: "I was told, over the phone, to 'just sit on the toilet and hopefully it will all come out'."
So, What Next?
Mumsnet have come up with a five point code of care that they are hoping to add to the political agenda by the time the 2015 elections roll around.
Their code of care includes: access to scanning and safe and appropriate treatment areas.
It also includes something which they've called "Joined-Up Care".
By this they mean contact between all those involved in treatment - for example, communication between the first response team and the GP, to make sure that everyone is aware of the miscarriage as soon as it happens and all future scans are cancelled.
This should prevent women who have miscarried from being hounded about missed scans and appointments.
The Truth About Miscarriages
How common is it?
Miscarriages are very common.
Approximately one in five of all pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
Pregnancies are a risky business, and it definitely doesn't mean that there is anything drastically wrong with you if you miscarry.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn't always kind.
Does miscarrying affect future fertility?
Having a miscarriage does not affect your fertility in the future.
However, having several miscarriages in a row may be a sign that there is an existing issue that needs to be addressed.
Should I feel ashamed?
The tradition of keeping a pregnancy a secret for at least the first 12 weeks originally started because miscarrying was viewed as some sort of scandal or failure.
In fact, miscarrying is common and getting support from loved ones and family members is crucially important when you are suffering the grief associated with losing a baby.
Is it appropriate to bury your baby?
There is, of course, no right answer to this question.
It all depends on your personal coping mechanisms.
Some women will prefer to treat the foetus as though it was never a baby in the first place and others need some means of saying goodbye.
If it feels right for you, then don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Are miscarriages on the increase?
According to Professor Lesley Regan, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and St. Mary's Hospital in London, the number of reported miscarriages has gone up.
However, there are a number of factors affecting these statistics.
Firstly, even twenty years ago, many more women would not have sought out treatment for miscarriages, preferring to handle the matter privately.
Secondly, advances in technology mean that we are now diagnosing pregnancies a lot earlier.
Whereas before, you would have had to go to the doctor to take a pregnancy test, nowadays you can pop to the pharmacy and take a test before you've even missed your period.
This means that up until recently, many people wouldn't even have known that they had miscarried, because they wouldn't even have known that they were pregnant.
If you want further information on the Mumsnet campaign, pop over to their website.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by a miscarriage and you want further support, the Tommy's Helpline is here to offer you guidance on all matters relating to pregnancy and miscarriage.