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Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

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)?

Hortonlovesahoo Thu 01-Feb-18 07:46:44

Thank you to everyone who has contributed. I found out yesterday at 10weeks that there’s no heartbeat (baby was 10weeks1 day). My biggest thing is that I’m trying to prepare myself for what’s going to happen and I just don’t know. I’ve had a lot of bleeding already as there was a blood sac in my uterus.

I just feel numb.

Paranormalbouquet Thu 25-Jan-18 15:15:00

Hi everyone. Joining in here! I've had 2 very early miscarriages before- 1 2 years ago (when we weren't trying, was less than 5 weeks, was very philosophical about it), 1 in October (we were trying, again around 5 weeks and again saw it as just bad luck. Had scan at 8+5 yesterday and found a sac with no pole/yolk sac. So sitting at home, waiting to bleed. Getting cramps now strangely so hopefully it will kick off naturally.

I'm devastated this time and to answer Jessie's question have been wallowing. Think I might try getting back to work tomorrow to take my mind off things. Haven't told anyone at work as I cope very poorly with sympathetic nods and head tilts. And also feel I'll be constantly under suspicion of being pregnant again (we are going to take a break while we have some investigations done).

Not feeling very positive at all to be honest.

colourful86 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:52:09

Bumping this post up for anyone who needs it, I have found it has helped to get me through today, thank you all for sharing.

I only found out I was expecting on the 11th Jan it was by accident as I did an early ov test, id had what I thought was a period 2 weeks before. So we were happy but surprised.

But then on Thursday just gone I woke up and I just didn't feel pregnant anymore, I told my partner that, and a few hours later started to bleed. We went up to the hospital where they said my HCG was only 351, much lower than it should be. I continued to spot and went for another blood test Sunday , it had dropped to 249, yesterday evening the bleeding got heavier and today it's been quite heavy again.

Hoping it will all be over soon, just trying to focus on being positive at the moment

JessieBob Tue 09-Jan-18 03:30:10

Hi everyone,

Currently going through medical management now (took the tablets last night) and this thread was a godsend for little naive me who always presumed a miscarriage would just be a heavy period and now have a lot of respect/guilt for people I've known who have been through this - I didn't ever appreciate how hard it is, mentally and physically!

Whilst this was amazing on preparing for MC, I'm interested to hear your experiences and opinions as to how to manage this alongside the reality of real life. This was a missed miscarriage and so since the initial scan I've has no symptoms and I wasn't sure if I should hole up in the house and mope and wait or carry on and keep myself distracted.

I'm very grateful to have amazing boss and Occ Health at work who guided me through the practicalities (insisting I work from home immediately, take 1 week off when it starts and expect a phased return) but I honestly wouldn't have had any ideas of what is 'normal' (and appreciate I have the luxury of being able to work from home and have an understanding employer).

Some practicalities that I was/am navigating and would love to hear your thoughts on (knowing that most of the answers will be to listen to your body):

Staying physical- gym while waiting to miscarry? What about afterwards? Did it help with emotional/physical pain?

Did anyone think 'fuck it' and have a large glass of wine?

Were you hungry? Did you change your diet to include anything? Maybe comfort eating?

Did you find it easier to wallow or get out and about and keep doing things?

How did you deal with the waiting and not googling 'missed miscarriage' to death?

Did you go to Boots and buy all the depressing necessities or get an Amazon delivery?

Just really interested to hear how people approached the practicalities really!

Glitterandunicorns Sat 02-Dec-17 15:01:25

I was six weeks pregnant yesterday. I started spotting bright red blood so ended up at the EPU. They did an internal scan to find an empty uterus. They did blood tests and my HCG levels were ridiculously low.

Late last night, I started getting horrific cramps and started bleeding lots more, so I'm confident I've had a miscarriage. At the moment, I'm still having awful cramps and I'm bleeding like a heavy period. In a way, I'm lucky as it appears that the pregnancy failed to develop properly so the physical process shouldn't be as difficult as that experienced by others.

Thank you so much to everyone on this thread who has shared their experiences and given advice. It's been such a comfort at an awful time. To echo other posters, I had no idea what to do or what might happen before reading this thread, so I'm truly grateful to you brave ladies for speaking so openly about your losses. I'm sorry for all your losses thanks

AnnM08 Mon 20-Nov-17 23:35:22

been waiting to miscarry naturally for 2 weeks. Due to have surgery in the morning. But it’s started this evening...

Twelvty Mon 04-Sep-17 21:46:28


TwinkleTee Mon 21-Aug-17 09:33:41

I just wanted to bump this thread back to the first page. For some reason it hasn't been made into a sticky, as proposed half a thread back.

It has been so, so helpful for me over the past weekend, having some idea of what to expect. I had no idea I could experience labour like pains. It was horrific, but I knew I was probably not dying thanks to the thread.

There are no other tips I can add. Painkillers, having someone close at all times, recruiting granny for babysitting, leggings, a towel in the bed and hot water bottles all helped for me. Also ice cream and wine last night when it all died down.

Huge unmumsnetty hugs to all the ladies that have shared their painful experiences here flowers

dolphins1203 Sat 29-Jul-17 22:07:21

This thread is so helpful in giving an insight into a miscarriage that I'd like to add some of my experience too. I visited the EPU at what I thought was 9 weeks due to some unusual bleeding. I was scanned and they told me my baby had stopped growing at 7 and a half weeks, I chose to miscarry naturally as I didn't like the thought of the 2 medical options.

1. I wanted a leaflet to tell me what to expect at each stage and hated the thought that you just have to wait and see what happens. I initially thought my experience would be the same as every other woman. I was wrong but I do know that there are so many amazing women out there who can support you through the difficult time.

2. The smell. I couldn't believe the smell during the heaviest points of the bleeding. That was one of the worst parts and one I didn't expect.

3. Bleeding will be much heavier than a 'normal' period. I bled heavily for about 4 days before it turned into something that resembled a period. I bled for 3 weeks in total.

4. Pain. I feel that I was lucky in the pain front, I experienced period like cramps and on the day I passed my little foetus I experienced quite an intense pain that really took my breath away, it was like nothing I'd felt before.

5. Hormone levels! My hormone levels have taken a long time to come down. I'm now 7 weeks post miscarriage and my hormone levels are only beginning to be near a normal level. My EPU adviced me to take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after but I was still testing positive 5 weeks after (I think this was the only time I'd felt sad at the sign of a positive test). But after a visit to the EPU and an internal scan I was told everything was 'normal' for want of a better word.

6. Finally, be kind to yourself and talk openly with your family and friends. There's no easy way through but know that it's perfectly okay to not be okay.

Miscarriage should be spoken about openly. Grief is a big part of the process but I hope that I can shed a small insight into my experience and I hope you find some support and help through this thread.

stumblymonkeyagain Fri 28-Jul-17 00:06:16

Thanks so much @Singingstarfish

I'm adding my experience of a medical management from A&E...I expect I've had a fairly extreme reaction but I was totally unprepared for it even having read parts of this thread (I hadn't got very far).

I was only 7 weeks with a blighted ovum (so only a gestational sac to pass). This being the case I expected to be towards the 'easier' side - severe period pain, etc.

I naively even ordered a takeaway to settle in for an evening of cramping, etc thinking I'd be in a position to eat.

I took the suppositories at 4pm. Started off okay but by 8pm I was vomiting frequently, had continuous diahorrea and was in such severe pain I was either curled up on the floor or rocking back and forth on all fours almost screaming.

This was with codeine and paracetomol.

Anyway, DP called 111 and I ended up at A&E where I got some morphine.

I haven't written this to scare people, I do think I've had an extreme experience but....

1. Be prepared that this level of pain is possible

2. Don't be afraid to go to A&E. If you can't stand or string much of a sentence together due to pain then do think about going (my pain rated about 9/10)

3. The question asked at 111 was 'could you go and make yourself a drink?'. If definitely not this might be an indicator that you're in more pain than expected

4. In these extreme cases morphine is your friend and tastes just like grape juice

5. You really do need someone to be with you when having a medical management - I was in no state to take care of myself even before the 'worst'.

Fair to say I will not opt for a medical management again if I'm in the same position as clearly it doesn't agree with me.

Singingstarfish Thu 27-Jul-17 20:34:24

Bumping for Stumblymonkey.

So sorry you're going through this. It's shit.

Take care Xx

dudemeister76 Sat 01-Jul-17 07:34:18

Such a helpful thread. xxx

user1497802451 Mon 26-Jun-17 21:09:07

I've now had 4 at various weeks in first trimester. All naturally although on 2 occasions I opted for surgery but miscarried before.

It's managable, just stay calm.

In my experience the bleeding starts like a period so there should be time to get home or get what you need. I found miscarrying in the day a little easier than at night as you are upright more which helps move things along. If you lie down for a long time it can be a shock when you stand up and theres all that blood. Heat helps the pain but it's not a great idea to have a bath during a miscarriage because of clots. The water of a bath/shower makes the blood look worse and some people feel a bit faint. I would wait until the worst of it it over and just clean with baby wipes.

I'm quite squeamish so went to the loo frequently and flushed without looking. During all my miscarriages I had about 12-24 hours of heavy, but managable, bleeding and clots and cramps before passing a larger clot (which I assume was the sac) and a large amount of blood which required sitting on the toilet rather than using towels. After that that it was like a normal period.

They advise you to go to hospital if you are filling a towel in under an hour but in my experience during the worst 2 hours you are passing that much and then it eases off. i couldnt have coped with sitting in a car during that time. I've just gone with my gut instinct that it was about to get better. If you are unsure get medical advice as some people do need to go to hospital with blood loss.

Bleeding afterwards carries on a little longer than a period. After 2 miscarriages I've felt fine and got on with my life. After one my world fell apart but it has got easier. There is so much support out there. Do what feels right and don't feel guilty about anything.

This is only my experience but i hope it helps someone.

RedPanda25 Tue 13-Jun-17 18:15:19

Thank you so much @Nixie8. I've told quite a few of my friends as I feel like talking about it will help me. I didn't think I would struggle this much physically afterwards at all. I just feel so weak but my husband is being great. Thank you again for your kind words x

Nixie8 Tue 13-Jun-17 17:19:04

Hi RedPanda25

I am so sorry for your loss.
Pain is quite normal but make sure you go for a check up with your gp. Paracetamol will help. I've been sent for a scan each time to check that everything has gone. Make sure you lean on those around you and talk; you'll be surprised by how many women have gone through this.
Take big care

RedPanda25 Tue 13-Jun-17 16:57:23

Thank you so much for this thread and to everyone for sharing all their experiences. This has been such a good help to me over the past few days.

I miscarried at the weekend at 7 weeks and it's been such a tough weekend. The bleeding started last Thursday and stopped on Sunday evening probably. I'm still having pain, which is now just in my lower right abdomen. Is this normal or could I have picked an infection up? It doesn't feel like the cramps that I had whilst I was bleeding.

Sending lots of love and hugs to those going through this too xx

MollyoftheFolly Tue 13-Jun-17 11:24:35

Bumping for those who sadly need this. I found it really helpful and to know I wasn't alone in going through the heartbreak of miscarriage. Look after yourselves.

Nixie8 Sun 09-Apr-17 13:54:56

Hi Ekphrasis,
First of all can I start by saying how sorry I am for your loss; it's a horrible thing and my thoughts are with you.
All the symptoms you describe are normal, I passed all sorts of clots, tissue and mucous ( sorry for tmi) for about a week or so. I also felt the pain on and off for that time. Do take pain relief as it can help so does a hot water bottle.
Take big care of yourself over the next few days and lean on those around you. Don't rush back to work, give yourself time.

Ekphrasis Sun 09-Apr-17 13:34:07

I'm grateful for this thread.

I'm miscarried naturally 5 days ago at 8 weeks, though baby showed to have stopped growing at 5-6 wks. There was still a heartbeat when I had the scan. I'm a bit worried I'm still getting phases of quite strong pains that last around half an hour or so, but then nothing for half a day. Also that I wasn't hugely aware of passing very much other than clots.

Does this found normal? Bleeding is bright and thin though regular.

I have found that peppermint ibs tablets seem to help a lot as I do seem to have some tummy issues too.

DancingUnicorn Sun 09-Apr-17 13:26:22

I'm so sorry that this thread exists, and grateful for people sharing their experiences of this tragic time.

I had a mmc, which was found at my dating scan just over a week ago. Baby was measuring 9+4. I took the weekend to decide what management to go for. I think it was important for me to think through all the options. I found the information on the miscarriage association website invaluable for this.

In the end, I opted for surgical management, which I think was the right thing for me. I hated that I'd been carrying around my dead baby for more than a fortnight and couldn't bear to wait any longer. The EPU were able to schedule it for the same day I told them that was what I wanted.

I was not prepared at all for surgery. I gave my husband everything I had with me in the waiting room, including my phone etc. But I'm actually really relieved about that. I found it really cathartic to have a few hours just lying in the hospital bed; I felt it gave me time to say goodbye instead of being distracted by the internet for hours.

I went back to work after two days off post surgery, which I think was too soon for me from an emotional standpoint. The second day back I asked to leave after a few hours. I would suggest giving yourself more time than you think you need.

I felt quite well straight after the surgery, apart from pain in my hand from the cannula. I was taken by surprise a few days later when I started feeling exhausted, achey etc. But I am learning to be kind to myself, physically and emotionally.

Love to all x

Nixie8 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:19:38

Hi Satsooma,
I have my fingers, toes and everything else crossed for you. Try to take it easy and let people take care of you; I imagine right now Monday seems a long way away. Hope it works out for you xx

satsoooma Fri 07-Apr-17 15:37:00

Just bumping this back to the front page, as I knew I had seen this thread before, but it took me a while to find. I am currently waiting to find out if I am miscarrying at 5 and a half weeks. So far just light bleeding and I have an EPU appointment on Monday.

emvy Tue 14-Mar-17 19:47:31

It's been a mixture of emotions reading about everyone's experiences. It's such a shame so many of us have to go through this horrific ordeal but at the same time, this thread has given so much comfort and support - it certainly did for me.

I began loitering on the miscarriage board after a scan at 6 1/2 weeks showed two sacs, one more developed than the other and no heartbeats. We were told to prepare for the worst but not give up hope - there were two babies, I prayed every night that it would be good news at the next scan. Unfortunately, a very long, emotional 10 days later it was confirmed that one had completely stopped growing and the other wasn't growing enough. I had the choice to let nature take its course or opt for intervention. I was told the natural option could take between 4 and 6 weeks. I opted for surgery.

I prepared based on everything people had said on here and I have to say, I actually over prepared but I would rather that than the alternative! I have bled very little - stopping the day after the surgery and then just passing fibre-like substances. Cramps were also very mild, paracetamol when I was uncomfortable, twice a day tops after day 2 post op and that was enough. Now, a week on, my pregnancy symptoms are finally beginning to subside and I'm feeling much more emotionally stable and more like myself again.

Here's what I learnt:

1) It's the most emotionally upsetting yet bizarre feeling you'll go through (bizarre in what way I can't actually describe).
2) You'll learn new things about yourself and your partner, build on these.
3) You'll sob your heart out at the silliest of things, even when you think you're done crying.
4) It's your journey, behave, talk, eat, sleep however, whenever and wherever you want.
5) Take time to find you again - who you were before ttc (if you were), before pregnancy - find your happy again.

I'm sorry for everyone's losses but thank you for sharing your experiences.

Kay1983a Sun 12-Mar-17 09:06:05

Just to say thank you to everyone who has shared their experience on this thread - it has been the most useful advice I have received over the past few weeks. I started reading before my MC last week. We had known there was a high chance since unexpectedly finding out 4 weeks ago (I was about 9 weeks). The practical advice really helped me to deal with it. I was going to go for medical management but I started bleeding naturally and then had emergency surgery. While it was happening I kept thinking about what everyone has said and found it strangely reassuring. I was also prepared with pads, wipes and a lovely smelling hand wash which helped me to feel better. I would also recommend light entertainment - I didn't feel up to reading a book or watching a film but welcomed the distraction from magazines and the radio.
What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion after. We had counselling before because of the difficult situation but I didn't realise how up and down I would feel. I have become so teary and will happily hug everyone (not like me at all). I'm going back to work tomorrow and not sure how I will cope. Only my boss and one close colleague knows and I'm sure everyone else will ask if I am feeling better. However, I feel I need to go back and now is the right time.

Nixie8 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:29:28

Dear @PaulaMidds,
First of all let me say how sorry I am for your losses; I know I feel that my angels are somewhere together now, even if I never got the chance to meet them. It sounds like you have a wonderful partner and I hope for you both things work out for you. Take care

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