HL Deb 29 July 2002 vol 638 cc143-4WA
Baroness Masham of Ilton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What psychological or psychiatric problems may be caused to a woman following a miscarriage at home. [HL5226]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the management of pregnancy loss indicate that many publications confirm the negative psychological impact of miscarriage on a significant proportion of women.

In addition, publications from the Miscarriage Association and the Still Birth and Neonatal Deaths Society show that women may experience a variety of emotions, which can range from disappointment, anger, guilt, to wonder about what they did wrong, why their pregnancy ended or why their baby died. Having a miscarraige at home can sometimes be a distressing, frightening and lonely experience for some women. Women certainly feel a sense of loss and need time to grieve over the lost baby.

While the needs of women who experience loss through miscarriage will vary in the amount and kind of support they need and in the kind of care they find acceptable, this is provided mainly through the general practitioner, midwife and health visitor who are best placed to manage their after-care. Women are also given information about the help available in the voluntary sector. The department provides support through Section 64 funding to:

  • The Miscarriage Association—which provides support and information to all those suffering from the effects of miscarriage; and
  • The Still Birth and Neonatal Deaths Society (SANDS)—which produces the Guidelines for Professionals on the Management of Pregnancy Loss and the Death of a Baby. The guidelines have the endorsement of all the principal Royal Colleges involved, parents and other voluntary organisations working in this area.

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