Parenting website calls for a change in the way we discuss baby loss.

MADE FOR MUMS SURVEY SHOWS MISCARRIAGE ANXIETY HAS INCREASED IN PAST DECADE

 

Parenting website calls for a change in the way we discuss baby loss. Pregnant women are more anxious about miscarriage than they were a decade ago, according to a new

study, despite miscarriage rates not changing in the UK.

 

New research by parenting website MadeForMums found that anxiety about miscarriage has increased by 33% in the past ten years, despite expectant parents feeling 11% more confident overall about their pregnancy.

 

The study showed that parents are seeing more miscarriage information in the media and on social media channels than they did a decade ago, when MadeForMums first launched, leading the website to call for a change the way we talk about miscarriage, for a more balanced conversation.

 

Susie Boone, Editorial Director of MadeForMums explained: “We strongly believe that breaking the taboos around miscarriage and encouraging women to speak openly and honestly is a GOOD thing, but raising awareness may inadvertently also be increasing anxiety amongst expectant parents.

 

“Our study shows that discussing the success stories of babies born after a previous miscarriage (fondly known as Rainbow Babies) has a positive effect and it’s something we should endeavour to talk about more.

 

“Experiencing miscarriage is devastating and can have a lifelasting impact, and we can’t, nor should we try to diminish this. But with our evidence suggesting that stories of birth after miscarriage can reduce anxiety, we’re calling for more awareness of this other side of baby loss, as well.”

 

A first study asked 3,000 expectant parents and those who’d had a baby between 2009 and 2019 to rate their experiences during the pregnancy and discuss factors that increased or decreased confidence and anxiety. A second study focused on miscarriage, asking 1,000 adults who’d been pregnant (or had a pregnant partner) in the past 10 years.

 

In this second study, 83% had seen information about miscarriage on social media and 75% had witnessed it on TV, YouTube and the general media. Crucially, 51% said they had become more anxious after viewing social media, while 55% felt more anxious after viewing the information online or in media coverage. But there was positive news, too: The study found that information specifically about ‘Rainbow Babies’ helped to ease the anxiety of other women, with a third of respondents reporting that they felt less concerned after reading these stories.

 

“Hearing about rainbow babies gave me hope that if the worst happened there was light beyond it,” said one respondent.

 

Similarly, visits to health professionals had a positive effect, with HALF of those questioned reporting that they felt less anxious after speaking to nurses, midwives and doctors.

 

One respondent said: “The guidance I got from health professionals about what are abnormal pains – and that if I’m worried I should get checked no matter how many times that may be because it’s better to be safe – made me feel like I could turn to the professionals to listen and help.”

 

One result of this increased anxiety is that women are choosing to use pregnancy tests in a new way – not just to discover whether they were pregnant, but to check they were still pregnant.

 

Eight in ten women use more than one test during a single pregnancy, with 2 in ten using five or more. Of those, 77% report using repeated tests despite having no specific evidence (such as worrying symptoms such as bleeding, spotting or cramping) that their pregnancy was in danger.

 

“There probably is a much greater awareness of miscarriage now,” says Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association.

 

“The Miscarriage Association and other groups that focus on miscarriage in their campaigns have worked hard in recent years to increase awareness of how common miscarriage actually is and to dispel the idea that miscarriage is something we shouldn’t discuss.

 

” Family GP Dr Philippa Kaye agrees. “We are talking more about miscarriage, which means that women may feel more comfortable coming forward and sharing their own experiences. As the taboo, slowly slowly, begins to be broken down more women are being brave and speaking about it.”

 

 

Parenting website MadeForMums.com reaches 3 million parents and parents-to-be each month. Launched in 2009, MadeForMums helps parents make confident choices and is the leading parenting product review site in the UK.

MadeforMums website: www.madeformums.com

MadeforMums social: @madeformums

Miscarriage Association website: www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

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