Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(313 Posts)
comeonbishbosh Wed 16-Nov-11 10:58:13

I?ve just had mc2, which has been emotionally more upsetting than mc1, but I coped a heck of a lot better on the practical side of managing it. And I realise that through the pregnancy books are full of tips on what types of sweets to pack in your hospital bag for labour, we?re pretty short of simple tips to make the sheer yuckiness of going through a miscarriage a little more bearable. I know there?s going to be big variations in people?s experience, and this is in no way to overrule any medical advice you get. But at least it might be a starting point.

For info, I had mc1 8 months ago, didn?t realise I was pg at the time (just come off breastfeeding DD, had massive problems conceiving before) but was probably 8-12 weeks. Didn?t realise it was actually a mc until a lot of mess later. MC2 was a few days ago, had a bit more notice as knew I was 8 wk pregnant, had been increasingly bleeding, and knowing a bit more what it was like through mc1. Neither time I needed to go to hospital.

So, this is what I would suggest helps from my experience, all offered as suggestions that may or may not apply to your situation!

1. Once you realise the bleeding has started in earnest, get home as soon as you can. You will probably need to sit on the loo for the next 1-3 hours, and that?s far nicer to do in the comfort of your own home.

2. If you need to travel in a car, sit on a plastic bag. (My 1st mc started at work, and by the time my DH came and picked me up in the car I had bleeding all down my trousers... it?s not glamorous).

3. Cancel everything, get childcare if you need it. The first time in the midst of the bleeding I tried to keep going, a builder came round to give me a quote for some work, DH went out on a pre-arranged cinema trip and I was putting DD to bed on my own. However hard it is to get a builder to quote, this was stupid priorities! Also, I now know best not to be left without another adult within shouting distance.

4. Settle in for the long haul. My mc2 was overnight, and I essentially camped out in the bathroom with magazines, world service on the radio, short scurries downstairs to make a hot chocolate. It was still horrible. But not unremittingly so.

5. Hot water bottles or hot wheatbags are great. And painkillers.

6. Get top quality sanitary pads, supersize. The maternity ones might be good for the first few hours if you can?t just sit on the loo, but they will make you miserable with their ungainliness. This is not a time to economise on the cheap versions.

7. If your mc kicks off at an evening or weekend, I found phoning my GPs ?out of hours? service loads more helpful, straightforward and kind than I have ever found NHS direct.

8. If take a pg test when you are miscarrying, it should come out positive. This is useful if, like me on mc1, I didn?t know I was pg at the time.

9. Take more time off work than you think. You are very much allowed to mooch.

Please do add any more tips. It goes without saying that I hope you and I never need these (again)?

greenzebra Wed 16-Nov-11 14:16:01

that is very practical advice, thank you

I had an mc at 5 weeks and I would say the same as you, stay at home, get heavy duty pads and big knickers that you dont mind getting dirty.(and can throw away)
I also suggest telling DH/DP everything that is happening, my DH was amazing and helped me out in the toilet clearing up stuff and looking after me. I would say get alot of time off work for practical and mental reasons.
I also found that once the heavy bleeding is over or has settled down a bit that a pair of tight trackie bottoms (tight round the bum and crotch) makes you feel secure and also they are comfort clothing to wear when you will feel down.

Also I suggest sleeping on a towel or a night pad (I think you can get these in boots, they will soak up any leaks)

mnistooaddictive Wed 16-Nov-11 16:38:41

Good advice but I found out of hours unhelpful and not wanting to know. Saturday lunchtime, I was told to phone my gp on Monday am, do I would add feel free to go to a and e.

georgee Wed 16-Nov-11 17:45:33

greenzebra ... good idea with the tight trackie bottoms, or I found two pairs of pants also helped me feel nice and secure.

Tw1nkle Wed 16-Nov-11 20:23:53

This is interesting, thank you.

I miscarried a few months ago - but it was nothing like you describe at all. What you describe is what I envisaged a MC to be like - but mine went on and on for 2 months!!!

comeonbishbosh Thu 17-Nov-11 13:13:38

Twinkle, poor you, that sounds horrible. I guess they can be as different as any aspect of human health. I think it's tricky to imagine what it's like beforehand as there is so little information, and it's not something you really want to think about. That said, I'm all for a bit of shared wisdom! What helped you cope?

mnistooadictive, yes, I imagine the helpfulness or otherwise of out of hours is entirely down to the luck of the draw of which doctor is on the end of the line.

MrsMillions Wed 23-Nov-11 21:18:41

This thread is a great idea and, I think, worth keeping bumped...when I was going through my mc, I didn't go beyond page 1, as 1 page was enough.

A few things to add...I had a mmc at 6.5 weeks, told hospital I would give it a week to see if things happened naturally, and they did - but a full 6 days after diagnosis...in the context of which:

I had a close relative to stay during those first few days (already planned, too late to cancel). We did everything we would have one with her anyway, which was great for taking my mind off things, but as none were particularly close to home geographically I wouldn't have done so if I knew quite what was coming! But my advice, anything you can do in this situation to distract yourself is a great help, I found it much harder after she'd left.

Don't be afraid to ask someone for a reminder of the "options". When the EPAU initially told me about pros and cons of each, I didn't really take it in. Luckily I have a close friend who is a GP and talked me through medical management vs ERPC a few days later, much easier to take in second time around, and without her I'm sure my lovely EPAU nurse would have done the same.

Don't be too quick to think it's all over. After several quiet days at home, I went to meet a friend in town...had to make an emergency dash to M&S toilets, knicker dept, and GAP for new jeans. Next day I had extra pads and spare knickers in my handbag.

You need more pads and loo roll than you expect! If, like me, your spare loo roll is in a utility room or similar, make sure bathroom/downstairs loo etc have a good stash ready!

Fishandjam Thu 24-Nov-11 15:37:36

Just one thing to add: I actually found Pampers Babydry nappies just the job when I was m/c - rather than maternity pads, which got soaked too quickly. I didn't want to sit on the loo the whole time (and I was going into hospital for an ERPC anyway) so the nappies were a good compromise. I cut the sticky tabs off and held them in place with Bridget Jones knickers wink

KatAndKit Thu 24-Nov-11 16:22:36

An excellent idea, some very good tips.

I would add that if you are going in for hospital treatment, be it Erpc or medical management, to take some flannels and/or wipes to clean yourself up with. After my erpc I was making do with a bedpan of soapy water and that blue paper stuff and it was a bit yuck.
Next time round I took old flannels to clean up with and it was much easier to deal with hygiene stuff before putting my clothes back on.

I would advise against phoning NHS direct unless you really really have to. If you think you need A&E, just phone them directly. NHS direct first line of response are just call center people working from a script, and asked me soe really insensitive questions at one point when I had too much bleeding after ERPC and was in pain.
Some gems include:
"could you be pregnant?" (wankers, I told you I just had a miscarriage)
"could you have a tampon stuck?" (er no I haven't had a period in 3 months)
"might a condom have come off inside you" (like I was having a shag the day after a miscarriage!!)
"are you sure the bleeding is from the vagina and not the back passage?" (seriously???)

So yeah, I will not be using NHS direct again in a hurry and I would advise against using them at a time when dealing with this level of insensitivity is not needed.

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 24-Nov-11 19:49:07

oh katandkit, that's shocking, what a nightmare!

I would say the most useful thing I took to hospital for medical management was laptop/DVD player and DVDs. It helped to pass the time and relax me a bit.

buggerlugs82 Sun 04-Dec-11 09:35:12

Hi ladies. Can i just say, this thread has helped me so much. I MC yesterday and read it at 3am on saturday morning when i was bleeding and knew what was coming.

It needs to be kept going so others can read it too. I was given the chance of staying in hospital to MC and after reading this i said no way and came home to do it and im so glad i did.

Matronalia Sun 04-Dec-11 18:36:51

Take it easy, get as much sleep as you can and take your vitamins and iron supplements. After 20+ years of perfect health in the four months after my miscarriage I got strep throat, scarlatina, shingles and several heavy colds, which the doctor said was down to my lowered immune system after the miscarriage (which was at 5/6 weeks).

warriorwoman Sun 04-Dec-11 18:46:45

When I had to go into hospital I took my ipod which was invaluable as I had to stay in overnight. I put it on when the other women in my ward had their visitors and when I was trying to get to sleep, as it can be very noisy in hospital. It did really help.

BreeVanDerTramp Sun 04-Dec-11 21:37:45

This is a good idea for a thread, I would say:

Do not go back to work after two days, still bleeding heavily - you are not being brave, your body will find a way to keep you in the house and better to be covered by maternity sick leave than getting the flu and week after m/c and having it get you into trouble for absence. As Matron says your immune system is shot to bits.

Take pain relief and wine as required.

Cry if you want, and if you don't want that is okay too - don't give a shitty shit what anyone else says/thinks - those that say 'at least you know you can get pregnant now' are ignorant fuckers smile

No one will remember on your due date (probably not even your partner) - but you will. Tell them if you want, do something special spend the day in bed, do what you want.

Take care of yourself.

mnistooaddictive Sun 04-Dec-11 22:31:17

Can I just add, think very carefully before telling your employer you have had a miscarriage. I was then treated as someone who was going to leave any minute to have a baby and was overlooked for promotion as well as basically ignored. As I was there for another 18 months it made my life so much arder than it needed to be.
I would not be that honest again.

baublelugs82 Mon 05-Dec-11 09:31:14

Too late - my boss knows. Everyone knows i think.

tasmaniandevilchaser Mon 05-Dec-11 10:35:41

MNistooaddictive, that's terrible. It's good advice, especially as I for one was in a very bad state of shock when I miscarried, so not in a good place to make decisions.

Hopefully not all employers will be like that, my work have been very understanding and haven't treated other mum's who've miscarried like that, but we are staffed and managed mainly by women of childbearing age.

maja15 Mon 05-Dec-11 10:52:15

mnistooaddcitive - that's terrible. I miscarried last Friday (can't even think about leaving the house yet, the pain, bleeding & dizziness is terrible) and work are being brilliant. That said, I know that I can forget about any relevant promotions now that they know I'll be (hopefully!!!) having a baby soon, or at least trying.

I think having female managers make a huge difference though.

Any advice on hot water bottles? hot baths? I am in agony but I'm scared of accelerating the bleeding.

baublelugs82 Mon 05-Dec-11 11:16:13

Maja I've used both wheat bags and had hot baths, the Dr's said they were fine and the leaflet they gave me at the EPU says so too.

Take co-codamol, drink plenty of water and look after yourself.

maja15 Mon 05-Dec-11 11:38:19

Thanks baublelugs82 - you look after yourself too.

nocluenoclueatall Wed 14-Dec-11 16:28:17

Thanks for this thread - so helpful.

Just bumping.

funthatisfunny Tue 03-Apr-12 15:53:49

I just found this thread and think it is brilliant. I am due to miscarry as it seems my baby is actually a blighted ovum (find out for sure next week); I was going to pack DH off for the weekend but think now I will keep him close in case it all kicks off.

I wish the info here was in my pregnancy book; it seems so obvious but to people like me who haven't yet been through it it seems like mc could be either just like a period - i have had lots of those so can cope with this, right?! (no) Or so huge i don't know how to begin managing it at home...

I hope everyone is ok.

Ellovera Tue 03-Apr-12 19:27:34

Thank you for this thread I'll be needing it in the next few days. I prefer to be forewarned . Sorry to you all cx

Cakeplease Tue 03-Apr-12 21:09:04

I miscarried last week & found wearing leggings in bed helped me feel more 'secure'. Also an array of heavy duty towels & lighter panty liners for when it dies down. Baby wipes to clean up after loo trips. When it was at its worst (only a few hours) I stayed mostly on loo.... So maybe magazines, drink, choc, whatever you fancy. I am so glad my husband was there, I would have been more upset & worried on my own. Also hospital said if pain worse than normal period of bleeding excessive for prolonged period to go to a&e. I didn't feel like going far from home for 3 days but if I did took plenty of pads & new underwear in my bag.
Lots of rest & sleep too. Lying down eased bleeding too. It's a shitty shit situation and I'm so sorry we are all going through it. It's ok to cry & it gets a bit easier each day.

For those who are waiting for it to start, I'm so sorry, if it helps mine wasn't painful (nothing more than period pains) and looks like it will be all finished in a week ish.
X

Unexpected3 Wed 04-Apr-12 15:22:02

Oh this is freaking me out.
Just fund out I've had a mmc yesterday so due to take tablets maybe tomorrow. Didn't expect it was going to be as bad as this sounds.
Can I ask why people don't have the surgical option when the pills option sounds quite traumatic? I'm asking because I can't make up my mind but hours of bleeding,cramping and sitting on the toilet makes me feel sick and I've got two other children and it's school holidays.
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