Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(425 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)?

SharkBastard Thu 08-Oct-15 10:10:46

My goodness, both of you have had awful experiences, I really hope time is good to you and helps you heal both physically and mentally.

I'm still bleeding, went to the GP on Tuesday who offered to refer me to EPU but I said I'll wait as I hate medical examinations and so forth, I'm signed off with 'threatened abortion'. I've not passed any big clots yet, so just sitting around and waiting for it all to go so I can move on. I'm keeping an eye on myself as I really don't want to have to have a D & C so fingers crossed it'll all come out without medical intervention but I have to go back on Tuesday if I feel it hasn't passed so I can be scanned.

Thoughts with all going through this thanks

daisygirlmac Wed 07-Oct-15 18:36:34

Oh mrsvaliant I'm so sorry. Why don't they ever think about how much they might hurt you before they do something like that?

MrsValiant Wed 07-Oct-15 18:34:22

I'm also freshly discharged from hospital after 3 hellish days.
I started to properly miscarry on Monday. Had 2x3 hour sessions of very bad pain, heavy bleeding and passing many clots & tissue. Although Tiesday started better at 7pm I began to have even worse pain & even heavier bleeding. Called hospital & was advised to go straight in. After waiting 2 hours to see Dr, with no pain relief I was eventually examined and he actually yanked with his hand the sac & more tissue. I think I nearly jumped off the bed in pain!
I was then kept in a further 24 hours to given me chance to pass anything else that was left & be re-scanned to decide whether D&C was required, which luckily it wasn't & I was allowed home.

daisygirlmac Wed 07-Oct-15 18:07:44

Hi everyone, sorry to all of you going through this its awful. I had a scan last Thursday (the 7th scan!) after about 4 weeks of constant bleeding and a v worrying clot in there as well. Baby had a heartbeat at the scan but I passed a huge clot about 6 hours later. It's my first pregnancy so I panicked like mad but nobody could see me until Friday in the EPAU so I basically just dealt with the pain at home as best I could. Long story short, I got a scan on Friday after a very long wait and baby had died, but I was 11 weeks so there was a lot to come out.

I opted for mmc as I just didn't feel able to cope at home with any of it but there was no warnings of quite how that would progress. Had to have morphine for the pain and four doses of the pessaries and didn't pass anything (I think they said it had got stuck) so they ended up using a speculum and forceps which was frankly horrifying. I was in hospital for 24 hours and very unprepared for how I would feel being home. I'm still in pain and still passing small clots and bleeding 4 days on but not really sure if it's normal or not? Very clingy with my OH and keep having highs and lows, I was determined to make bread earlier then just crashed and started crying my eyes out again. I'm on my own today and it's been a long one, just 2 more hours till he gets back though. I think all the medical staff should be more be more open about what you might go through but I'm struggling emotionally and I'm not really sure what to do next.

Dontlaugh Sun 04-Oct-15 22:01:43

Britonholiday10 that sounds like the normal pathway, for that stage of pregnancy loss. I am sorry you are going through this and appreciate it is happening in another country, which is shit, however they may be more lax in their pharmacy laws and you may be able to access stronger pain relief without going to a GP, such as co-codomal, if you need it. See how you go. Watch for raised temperature and signs of infection, such as discoloured discharge and a smell from the discharge. If they appear then you need medical attention.
Otherwise, take care and try to enjoy the remaining holiday as much as you can.

Dontlaugh Sun 04-Oct-15 21:51:36

I am so sorry you are all going through any version of this, it is shit, for sure.
I have posted on this thread before, long ago. Tips: adequate pain relief! Usually morphine based, for whatever reason. Paracetamol was in my experience like using a chocolate teapot and wondering why the tea wouldn't brew.
Time, to process your options if there are any.
Also, in my own case (miscarriage, followed 3 months later by ectopic and salpingectomy) ASK and QUERY everything. I would have a second tube intact today if my Catholic hospital had not insisted on salpingectomy, my HCG levels were within the recommended levels. I was so emotional and distraught, particularly after the miscarriage, that I didn't question or challenge, nor had I anyone with me who could.
Regarding the miscarriage, to be fair, I am a bleeder in the best of circumstances, and so I bled profusely during my miscarriage. To the point where I wore a Pampers into the emergency department to soak up the blood, and it still couldn't cope. I wasn't prepared for that amount of blood loss and it scared me. I was in for a night, and couldn't sleep, but was out the next day and all the pregnancy had "passed'. I was asked to take a cardboard container into the toilet everytime I needed to pee, in order to measure the blood loss and any tissue loss, but I now know this is not usual and is a throwback to the traditions of this particular hospital.
Much love to anyone experiencing this. It's not in the pregnancy books, for sure.

SharkBastard Sun 04-Oct-15 14:29:43

Sorry to hear these stories, I began bleeding this morning, the cramping is starting to pick up the pace. This will be my second miscarriage, half expected it so no great shock, got me some co-codamol to help me through the rough part. I was 6w 6d.

Like the other poster (sorry, can't remember the name), I don't feel too sad, just irritated that it's happening again. I'm sure I'll have a big sob at some point, but onwards and upwards. Thoughts with all of you battling through it thanks

Britonholiday10 Sun 04-Oct-15 11:13:13

MrsVailant - that's really sad, im thinking of you.

I hope whatever your outcome may be that you stay well. Every miscarriage process differs and I thought mine would be a lot worse than it is. I have to contact my GP on Wednesday where I will be booked in for a scan at my local EPU. I'm pretty sure that by then there will be nothing to see and I can continue my loss at home.

I would suggest that you do enjoy your holiday, it may provide a distraction if any. You may find yourself more recovered by this point. But, we're all different. Do whatever you feel is right.

MrsValiant Sun 04-Oct-15 10:04:18

I'm so sorry for all your losses. I found out at my scan on Thursday when I should have been 13 weeks that the pregnancy stopped developing at 6 weeks.
I have an appointment at the EPU for this Thursday to be re-scanned & discuss options but yesterday I had slight bleeding & today I have a little more & some cramping.
Britonholiday10 I think you're brave to go through this on holiday. Amongst all of the upset & sadness I'm also worried as I have a long haul holiday booked in 3 weeks (was supposed to have been our last luxury holiday as a couple before we had our 1st baby) & I'm so worried as to how I'll cope if I'm not at least physically recovered by then.

Britonholiday10 Sat 03-Oct-15 20:37:43

Hi all. I hope you're all well and safe. I'm posting from Greece as I'm on holiday with DP sans DS and I'm miscarrying. According to dates I am 6 weeks + 1.

Only got BFP two weeks ago so relatively early on. Started to spot on Sunday 27th (brown and pinky water) with occasional cramping. Bleeding started like a medium period on the Monday and after a doctors appointment (pelvic examination confirmed cervix was closed but I was bleeding) - decided to fly anyway and should I miscarry on holiday, so be it.

I continued to have light/medium bleeding (sanitary pad changed only twice a day) until yesterday where I experienced labour like contractions and a sudden gush, resulting in me passing a large mass. I didnt stop to look as by this point I was already on the loo. I'm assuming this was the sac but not sure. Bleeding had stemmed today, but returned with cramping and more loss of bright red blood and livery streaks.

Any idea of how long I should be expecting this to last? Also, from an emotions perspective, I'm feeling rather like this whole experience is an inconvenience and I'm angry/frustrated at not being able to enjoy any feelings of loss or sadness. Should I be concerned?

We return to the UK on Tuesday. As I type this I've stopped cramping but still bleeding heavily (ish)

I know everyone is different but I'm feeling ok in myself, no spikes in temperature, no fever etc. its just shit that were in another countryangry

I have found this thread very useful indeed, a comfort to learn that we are never on our own, no matter what xxx

EmM1980 Mon 28-Sep-15 22:56:02

I know that feeling! My 3 yr old DS is obsessed with babies, he'll happily chat to any baby in a pram, whether he knows the parents or not. His childminder told me today that there is a new baby she is looking after, and my DS keeps asking if she is his sister. He didn't know about the baby, so this is just weirdly coincidental. But very cute and despite everything it made me smile.

Keep giggling though, we have our families and we're all in this together xx

TwinklyMusic Mon 28-Sep-15 22:47:47

Good luck with the nice GP! I'm glad you've someone else to speak to.

I know what you mean about crying in sainsburys after seeing a newborn. It's a very strong, involuntary reaction, nothing to feel guilty about.

This weekend my family dragged me out to a public event (I didn't feel up to it, but couldn't let them down), and one of my big fears was seeing small babies. Sure enough, the first train we got on, there was a young couple engrossed in their newborn. My DH looked fearfully at me (poor guy has witnessed me turn from being totally fine to a mess in seconds over newborns!) and tried to turn me away to avoid seeing the baby. But then my five year old loudly chimed up with "do you see the baby mummy... Look, see how tiny it is... Mummy, you're not looking, it's such a cute, cute baby... mummy...LOOK!" DH looked so horrified that I did find myself caught bizarrely between a sob and a giggle. confused

EmM1980 Mon 28-Sep-15 15:45:13

Thanks Twinklymusic.

I'm seeing my nice GP tomorrow (she doesn't work Mondays) and I will make her aware that the other GP is a complete knob who shouldn't work with women or anyone requiring empathy. Why do some people enter the 'caring profession' when they clearly don't give a rat's arse?

I just started crying in the middle of Sainsburys when a mum with a newborn went past me. I feel guilty as I have a gorgeous son and wonderful husband, and yet I feel like something is now missing.

Sending massive hugs, we'll get through this xxx

TwinklyMusic Mon 28-Sep-15 11:18:58

Oh no EmM1980, that's awful! You are right, he is a colossal prick. Heartless bastard!

Can you go to a different GP at the same practice or a different one? You need support.

I have some awful GPs at my practice too, and have had to deal with them as well. Once - a pregnancy following miscarriage - I went in at 14 weeks terrified because of some bleeding, and, after he couldn't find a heart beat, I was given an almost gleeful and graphic account of his (the GP's) wife's pregnancy scare (it involved clot descriptions), that was eventually ok. After I stared at him in open-mouthed horror, he told me I was clearly not coping very well with this pregnancy (dismissed as an hysterical woman) and sent me for a scan. Luckily, that time everything was ok.

However, I always regret not making an official complaint about his ridiculously inappropriate bedside manner. You should consider this too. Your GP was unprofessionally insensitive.

flowers thinking of you.

EmM1980 Mon 28-Sep-15 10:50:42

Twinklymusic, thank you for your advice, and sorry that you've learned through multiple experiences.

This is a horrible thing we're going through, and I pray that we never have to go through it again. I went to the GP today to chat after my miscarriage finally happened on Saturday. It was very traumatic and i didn't realise that it would be that bad - the midwife told me at EPAU that it would be like a bad period. Wrong.

The GP was quite possibly the least sympathetic man ever, and made me feel like I was wasting his time as so many pregnancies end in miscarriage, so it's a common fact of life - his actual words. He was reluctant to sign me off, even though I said I'm in a lot of discomfort still and very tired with frequent passing out (I got a letter from antenatal the day after I was told my baby had died saying I'm anaemic), and he just didn't seem to care. I pushed for sign off for this week - luckily my boss is amazing and already told me to take time out - but I now feel like I'm skiving. According to my GP, work is good for the soul and it would be good to keep busy. I realise he is a colossal prick, but still makes me feel worse (if that is possible).

Huge hugs to everyone who has gone through this and is currently going through this. Life is utter shit sometimes, and this thread is amazing, and helped me through much more than the doctors and midwives have.


TwinklyMusic Mon 28-Sep-15 10:11:26

Hi, sorry to everyone who has posted here and to all those who are going through this.

I had my third miscarriage last week (it was my second mmc), but I wish I had been able to read something like this thread the first time around. It would have helped enormously because no information I was given elsewhere helped much at all.

All the advice about having enough good quality pads and all of that with you is right - it's all very unpleasant and grim but easier to cope with if you have what you need to hand.

For me, staying close to home felt right. Even if things seem to be happening slowly, you don't know when it will kick off, and it can be so full-on during those worst hours that you will want to be somewhere safe and familiar.

For me, this time around, the worst of the physical part seemed over in one day. After some light bleeding I went to the EPU and a scan showed a pregnancy that was much earlier than my dates (6 weeks but I was 9 weeks). The couldn't offer me medical or surgical management as they had to re-test a week later to make sure it was not a case of incorrect dates (even though I was certain about my dates). The heavier bleeding started that night, and I kept having to go to the loo that night and throughout most of the next day. I passed a lot of blood and large (fist full) clots, and I was also in considerable pain. I went through pads every hour or so. I couldn't see if I passed the sac as the toilet was so full of blood.

But by the next next day it had eased considerably and was more like a period. After that it got very light, although I still have to wear pads as there are unexpected sort of 'surges'.

My first miscarriage lasted longer, at least in terms of the bleeding and passing of clots and tissue. I think that part when on for a number of days, but it was not as dramatically heavy. I could see the sad little bits I passed...

The middle one was by ERPC and although I was worried going into it, I found it the easiest physically. I woke up and it was all done and dusted (bar the sadness). I didn't have much in the way of pain or side effects.

Get the best pain relief you can get your hands on (legally, I mean wink). In both cases where I went through it naturally (I had one ERPC), the pain was worse than period pain, and more contraction like, but not at all as bad as labour pain. You are going through enough - you don't need the full whack of the pain as well (for me, nurofen plus, even when topped up with paracetamol, only took the edge off it last week on the worst day).

You must also prepare to be exhausted. Take a liquid iron supplement to build yourself up, but now is definitely the time to be very kind to yourself. Rest, watch box sets, sleep.

The hormone surge is really difficult - like birth I think it comes in about 2 or three days after the heavy bleeding. Not only does it amplify grief, it throws you into a bit of a spin (well... that's my experience, but that could be me). I was also short-fused and snappy. That's when I felt least capable of coping and most in need of a pillow to cry in. Thankfully, now a bit of an expert, DH stepped up to take care of the dc and make lots of cups of tea (although the house was an absolute tip when I finally made it down stairs...).

Take some time off work. If your rationale is that 'getting back into things quickly' will help you cope better, please have a really good think about that. It might - I'm not saying that it won't, as everyone is different. But after my first mc I went back to work too soon, and I fell apart after a few days and made a total twat of myself.

I had a really kind and gentle GP at the time (oh that they were all as she was!), who gave me some advice after I was sent home from work (for totally breaking down out of the blue... Yeah, I am giving this advice after learning the hard way...blush) that I remembered following both subsequent miscarriages. She said I can't rush my grief, I needed to process my loss in my own time, and also pointed out that I would be more useful at work once I had let this happen. She told me not to think about work for a couple of weeks and prescribed long walks in the woods! I did as she suggested and found it cathartic and peaceful.

One of things I did last week was to phone the GP practice and ask for a sick cert for a couple of weeks. The GP (a different one) was very sympathetic (well, I was sobbing uncontrollably!) and was happy to do this. It was much better doing it this way (over the phone) than the last time, when I went in to the clinic and had to sit and blub everytime a pregnant woman or a newborn entered the waiting room. And now, I don't need to worry about going back to work just yet, I can focus on physical and emotional healing.

I also think that we should not feel guilty about being a little bit selfish and self-indulgent during this time. If someone else picks up the kids, or cleans the house, or whatever, that's more than ok, that's good. Buy yourself a present, treat yourself, stay in bed.

This is a completely crap thing to have to go through, and it's made even worse by the fact that hospitals, EPUs and GPs are inconsistent in their empathy and understanding of what women are going through and how they support women going through that (having women who are miscarrying wait in the same room as obviously pregnant ladies going for routine scans is just cruel) and let's not even talk about the absolute awkwardness of society in general.

So above all, give yourself a break and look after yourself. flowers

Puffledumpling64 Sun 27-Sep-15 19:12:15

My sympathies to all going through this. It's horrible. Here's all I can offer...
I started miscarrying Wednesday. If I can add one practical hint, as a runner I have a lot of high5 recovery drinks powders. These just contain mineral salts really but I've found them invaluable to help hydrate and keep energy levels up. Those and multivitamin/iron tablets and hot water bottles plus heated blanket at night.

EmM1980 Fri 25-Sep-15 21:06:34

Hi everyone,

My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I went to the EPAU yesterday after some light bleeding, and was told my baby had no heartbeat and was showing as 7+5, when I was supposed to be 11 weeks. I had an earlier scan after a bit of spotting at around 8 weeks and there was a heartbeat, but the baby was measuring a bit small. They sent me home to miscarry naturally, but offered medical/surgical. I have a scan booked for the 6th Oct to check all clear. Since the scan I've been bleeding moderately with some small clots, but tonight it's getting worse and I'm cramping badly. My cervix area keeps feeling spiky (I remember this from the week before I gave birth to my DS), so I assume that this is all preparing to pass the sac. I'm so sad but still don't think it's truly hit me yet. I just want my baby back.

Reading the thread has prepared me for the worst, but I really wish I never had to look up this topic!

chandelierswinger Wed 16-Sep-15 18:27:15


watermaid Tue 01-Sep-15 17:46:38


chandelierswinger Sun 23-Aug-15 13:17:47

This is my second time on the thread. Having had a natural mc at 5 weeks (we think of one embryo), I ended up having surgical management at 10 weeks (mmc) for (what we think was) the second embryo a month later.

I had a fair few complications, so ended up in hospital for 4 days, having the surgical procedure twice confused and am now on two types of antibiotics sad This is fairly unusual though.

I'd just add to keep drinking plenty of water and try to keep your bowels moving (strong pain relief/general anaesthetic can mess you up) as that only adds to the discomfort.

Thoughts go out to everyone needing to access this thread flowers

mrsdiddlydoo Tue 18-Aug-15 21:18:03


147RedDog Tue 21-Jul-15 17:40:35

I went for medical management under local anaesthetic. I had a 'good' experience: great staff, high level of care, procedure went well (fingers crossed). My tips:

1. Painkillers.
The nurse advised dosing up on ibuprofen and paracetamol. Consider swapping paracetamol for co-codamol. It will make you feel dozy. You'll need someone with you to remember the advice/help you work out where the exit is.

2. Snacks and supplies
I had to fast before the procedure and they need you to hang about so they can check your blood pressure, pee and walk about before you leave. Bring good food to look forward to (hosp food is depressing) and something to pass the time.

3. Cosy clothes.
Be comfy, whatever that means to you. Your tummy might feel tender afterwards. Also, big pants for big pads.

Packing a wee bag was a way to think about what to expect and how I might feel. It also helped me feel prepared and a bit more in control of the day.

Sympathies to anyone who is waiting for EPRC/medical management of miscarriage. It's a bit grim but it's overly fairly quickly.

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 21-Jul-15 10:17:31

I went for medical management and this was 11 days ago now. I was 6 weeks pg but the pain was unbearable, I almost passed out and can definitely say it was akin to labour. Except you know that the pain isn't going to have a happy ending.

I still feel so wrung out, so tired and this morning I passed another big clot. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone. My DM is looking after my DS which I am so grateful for as I just want to hide. Is this normal and will it pass soon? I'm due to take a pg test on Friday and even though I know I'm not pg anymore I am dreading taking it.

Tips for coping with the pain from me would definitely include heat patches. I wanted to walk around, sway and get on all fours and couldn't keep a hot water bottle in place whilst doing this.

Keep telling yourself that the pain will pass; in my case it was around 4 hours of severe pain and then returned to period type pain. I had a few more bad cramps over the next few days but only lasting a few seconds.

Make sure you have childcare for your DC; I am so grateful that DS didn't see me at my worst.

Ask for an anti-emetic as the pains can make you feel very very sick and these worked for me.

I am so sorry to every woman going through this, I don't think I'll be trying again, it's just been too much.

LillianFullStop Mon 20-Jul-15 18:23:24

Here is a tip from someone doubled up in pain even after dosing on panadol and neurofen. Prepare for the worst - I tried to be optimistic and gravitated towards the posts where it was not so bad (I think they call that selective research). But now that the show has kicked off for me I would say it's closer to labour pains than period pains. I've never been in labour but I've had period pains before but this is something else!!!

Made the mistake of going in to work and the tube journey home was hell.

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