Written by Jana Angeles
A miscarriage can happen unexpectedly or during the early weeks of pregnancy. The usual signs can be either vaginal bleeding or stomach pains. If you or a loved one is experiencing this, make sure to see your doctor or go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital as soon as possible.
For many, a miscarriage is a term for ‘pregnancy loss’. For a soon-to-be mum, this is not good news. Losing a human you were excited to meet is something we can’t imagine, but unfortunately it happens on a day-to-day basis.
What is the most common sign of a miscarriage?
The most common sign is vaginal bleeding. If you’ve seen any light red/brown spotting or heavy bleeding, you may be experiencing a miscarriage. If this happens early on during the pregnancy, you may assume that you’re having your period.
Other signs of miscarriage include:
- Tummy cramps on lower region of stomach; pain could feel like you’re having period cramps or labour-like contractions
- Blood clots or pregnancy tissue from your vagina
- Fluid from your vagina
In some cases, you may recognise your baby in the tissue and blood clots that have passed. Please note, this could be distressing for some mothers so contact your local doctor or go to your nearest hospital.
What if I have signs of spotting during the early stages of pregnancy?
If you happen to experience some spotting, don’t panic. Many women during their first trimester experience spotting.
However, if you feel concerned about this, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife for support regarding the health of you and the baby. Just remember that if you’re experiencing any unusual pain, contact triple zero (000) or have a friend or family member take you to the nearest hospital.
What happens if I experience a miscarriage at home?
A miscarriage can happen anywhere and there’s no chance for you to call your doctor or go to your nearest hospital.
When it comes to managing the occurrence of the miscarriage, here are some things you can do:
- Use pads to manage heavy bleeding
- Take a rest
- If you’re experiencing pain, take a paracetamol
When everything begins to settle and you’ve calmed down, contact your doctor or midwife and tell them what happened.
Sometimes miscarriages occur while using the toilet or when you’re out and about. You cannot control it once it happens. Remember, there is no right or wrong in handling this situation and it’s okay to feel scared or confused by this. A miscarriage, especially for those who are not parents yet, is distressing for some individuals. The stress of seeing the shape of your baby in passing fluid or tissue is not a pretty sight, but it’s natural to keep staring at it especially when you’re in denial of what has happened.
If you’re able to, collect your baby in a container and show it to your doctor. They can send it out for laboratory testing to figure out how the miscarriage happened. Also, collecting the remains of your baby could be something you’d want to keep for the burial at home.
What next steps should I take after the miscarriage?
- Speak to your midwife or baby for any health concerns regarding pregnancy and information on how you can prevent it for next time.
- Take up counselling sessions.
- Spend time with your family and friends for extra support during this tough time period.
- Don’t blame yourself. None of this is your fault. A lot of women go through miscarriages; you are not alone in this.
- Go to a support group for women who have experienced miscarriages. It’ll be a good way to share your stories, thoughts and feelings on the topic.
- Bury the baby for closure, but only if you want to. Just remember you’re doing this so you can come to terms with their death.
- Remind yourself that you can try again for another baby and that there are other options in having children (such as surrogacy, adoption).