Mumsnet miscarriage 2016 survey results

A new Mumsnet survey shows big improvements in hospital care for women who miscarry. However, follow-up care remains patchy, and women sent home to miscarry report a lack of information and pain relief


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Building on surveys carried out in 2011 and 2014, Mumsnet surveyed 692 women who had experienced pregnancy loss since January 2014. The combined data now shows steady progress in many indices of hospital care since the launch of the Mumsnet Better Miscarriage Care campaign in 2011.

Read the full survey results below.



How many episodes of pregnancy loss have you experienced in total (including prior to January 2014)?

Answer options Response percent
One 59%
Two 23%
Three 9%
Four 3%
Five 2%
Six 2%
Seven or more 2%


Thinking about your last episode of pregnancy loss: which of these best describes it?

Answer options Response percent
Miscarriage 88%
Ectopic pregnancy 4%
Stillbirth (post-24 weeks of pregnancy) 1%
Other 8%


How many weeks pregnant were you when you lost your pregnancy? (Throughout this survey, if you have experienced more than one pregnancy loss since January 2014, please answer for your last experience.)

Answer options Response percent
Less than 4 weeks 
1%
From 4 up to 6 weeks
18%
From 6 up to 12 weeks 66%
From 12 up to 16 weeks 9%
From 16 up to 20 weeks 2%
Over 20 weeks 4%
Don't know
0%


Who from the following, if anyone, did you talk to about your pregnancy loss? Tick all that apply. (If you have experienced more than one pregnancy loss since January 2014, please answer for your last experience.) Tick all that apply

Answer options Response percent
No-one 3%
Partner or spouse 94%
Close friend 73%
Close family member 66%
Wider friends 25%
Wider family 12%
Posted on Mumsnet about it 29%
Internet users (not Mumsnet) 10%
A helpline, support group or online service provided by a specialist organisation (eg. Miscarriage Association, Sands) 9%


Were healthcare professionals aware of your pregnancy loss at any stage or did you deal with it without informing any medical staff? (If you have experienced more than one pregnancy loss since January 2014, please answer for your last experience.)

Answer Options
Response percent

Healthcare professionals were aware while it was happening (eg you miscarried in hospital or it was discovered following a routine scan)

79%

Healthcare professional was aware after it had occurred (eg you dealt with it at home then told your GP or midwife)

15%

Dealt with it without informing any medical professional - no medical staff knew it had happened, either at the time, or subsequently

2%

Can't remember/Don't know

0%
Other 4%


If you were treated in hospital for your pregnancy loss, did any of the following happen to you? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Yes this happened to me No this did not happen to me Can't remember/don't know   

You waited for a scan to confirm your pregnancy loss alongside women with ongoing pregnancies

61% 35% 4%

You waited for a scan to confirm your pregnancy loss alongside women with ongoing pregnancies

63% 34% 3%

You were placed on an ordinary prenatal or postnatal ward

13% 86% 1%

You were placed on a ward with women having procedures to terminate unwanted pregnancies

8% 67% 25%

You had access to a dedicated early pregnancy unit

79% 17% 4%

If you were referred for a scan to confirm that your baby no longer had a heartbeat, how long did you have to wait for the scan to take place? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent

Under 4 hours

28%

Between 4 and 8 hours

7%

Between 8 and 24 hours

14%

Between 1 and 2 days

25%

More than three days

23%
Don't know 3%

If you were referred for surgical management of miscarriage (previously known as 'evacuation of retained products of conception, or ERPC), how many days did you wait between your diagnosis and the surgical procedure? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent

Less than a day

9%

Next day

18%

2-3 days

35%
4 days or more 39%

If you miscarried or lost your pregnancy in hospital, how would you describe the information you were given about what would happen to the remains? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent

Information was comprehensive and compassionate

44%

It was accurate but lacked compassion

18%

It was compassionate but not clear

7%

It was sketchy and lacked compassion

11%

No information available

16%

If you miscarried at home following medical attention (expectant management), do you feel you were given good, clear information about how painful the experience might be? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent

Yes, the information I was given was clear; it prepared me adequately for the experience and/or gave me the information I needed to seek further advice if necessary

30%
No, the information I was given didn't prepare me for the experience and/or give me the information I needed to seek further advice if necessary  31%

I wasn't given any information about pain at all

32%

Don't know

1%

Other (please specify)

6%

If you miscarried at home following medical attention (expectant management), did you feel you were given adequate pain relief medication? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent

Yes - was given adequate pain relief

17%
No - was not given or offered adequate or any pain relief  58%

Didn't need any

16%

Don't know

1%

Other (please specify)

7%

If you miscarried at home following medical attention (expectant management), do you feel you were given good, clear information about what the overall experience might be like, and how best to look after yourself or prepare others to look after you? (Based on all answering)

Answer options Response percent
Yes, the information I was given was clear; it prepared me adequately for the experience and/or gave me the information I needed to seek further advice if necessary 28%
No, the information I was given didn't prepare me for the experience and/or give me the information I needed to seek further advice if necessary 41%
I wasn't given any information about miscarrying at home at all 33%
Don't know
1%
Other 4%

After your miscarriage or other form of pregnancy loss (whether at home or in hospital), were you contacted by anyone related to your medical care who seemed unaware that you had lost the pregnancy? If so, by whom?

Answer options Response percent
Yes - by GP practice (GP, practice nurse, receptionist) 10%
Yes - by community midwife 14%
Yes - by hospital midwife 5%
Yes - by other hospital staff 7%
Yes - by commercial company, e.g. Bounty, Boots Baby Club17%
Other (please state)6%
Don't know
0%
Not stated (no)
54%

If you were unhappy with the care you received from any healthcare professional or service, did you make any complaint afterwards?

Answer options Response percent
Yes - unhappy with care and made a complaint 6%
No - unhappy with care but did not make a complaint 33%
NA: Was happy with care / didn't see any healthcare professionals/ Not stated 61%

And if you were unhappy, but did not make a complaint, why not? (Please tick yes or no to the following)

Answer options Response percent
The process of complaining seemed long-winded and I just didn't have the time 44%
I didn't want people to get into trouble 8%
I felt protective of staff who had treated me well 20%
I was worried the complaints process would be upsetting 23%
I just wanted to try to forget about it 66%
I didn't think that complaining would make any difference42%
I didn't know how to complain15%
I wasn't sure whether I'd misunderstood what had happened to me10%

Please tick yes or no to the following...

Answer options YesNo Don't knowN/A / N/S
Were you offered follow-up medical care with a midwife? 12%81%2%5%
Were you offered follow-up medical care with a nurse? 9%84%2%5%
Were you offered follow-up medical care with a GP? 11%83%2%5%
Were you offered follow-up medical care with an obstetrician? 10%84%1%5%
Were you offered any other follow-up medical care? 11%83%2%4%
Were you offered counselling by a hospital?12%81%3%3%
Were you offered counselling by a GP or midwife?7%88%1%4%
Did you feel the need for follow-up medical care (such as an appointment with a GP or at a hospital clinic)?47%41%9%3%
Did you feel you could benefit from one ore more counselling sessions?52%29%15%3%
Did you pro-actively seek follow-up medical care?33%63%1%3%
Did you pro-actively seek counselling?16%81%0%2%
Did you pro-actively seek privately-paid counselling?10%87%1%3%

For each of the following NHS healthcare professionals who may have been involved in your treatment for miscarriage or pregnancy loss, please rate them for how empathetic and compassionate they were, where '5' is excellent and '1' is awful.(Base - all answering for each one)

Answer options 1 - Awful2345 - excellentDon't knowN/A
GP
6%8%14%15%26%1%31%
GP receptionist 7%5%12%10%11%5%50%
Hospital receptionist 5%7%20%17%13%5%34%
Community midwife 4%4%8%7%11%1%64%
Hospital midwife3%3%9%11%27%2%46%
Hospital consultant6%7%12%14%22%1%37%
Hospital nurse 5%4%11%19%31%2%28%
Sonographer8%9%13%18%32%0%20%
Counsellor0%0%1%2%8%2%87%
Hospital chaplain0%0%0%2%3%2%92%

Throughout your miscarriage or pregnancy loss, how would you rate the information you were given by NHS healthcare staff?

Answer options Response percent
Comprehensive 16%
Mostly full and useful, with some gaps 25%
An even mixture of useful and lacking in information 24%
Mostly lacking in information, but with some helpful/informative bits 15%
Inadequate or misleading 14%
Don't know1%
N/A4%

If you sought or received medical attention from the NHS, how would you rate your overall care? (Based on those answering)

Answer options Response percent
Excellent 23%
Good 40%
Neither particularly good nor particularly bad 21%
Poor 11%
Very poor 5%

For each of the sources of support for women who are miscarrying or experiencing pregnancy loss, please rate them for how sympathetic and compassionate they were

Answer optionsVery supportiveQuite supportiveNeither supportive nor unsupportiveQuite unsupportive Very unsupportiveN/ADon't know
Medical staff in hospital24%35%16%9% 5%10%2%
Medical staff in the community10%15%11%5% 3%48%8%
Friends40%33%9%4% 1%11%2%
Family38%
32%
8%
6%3%
12%2%
Spouse/partner62%25%5%4% 2%1%1%
Mumsnet38%19%3%1%0%32%6%
Other internet sites16%24%4%2%0%44%9%
Specialist miscarriage, pregnancy loss or other still birth organisations15%7%2%1%1%61%13%
Bereavement support organisations5%2%1%0% 1%76%15%


Survey of 692 Mumsnet users in October 2016. The data has not been weighted.


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Last updated: 5 months ago