sad woman looking out of the window, grief, bereavement, lockdown

Article by Marley Hall aka Midwife Marley

Losing a baby at any stage during or after pregnancy is devastating. Expecting a baby should be a happy, joyful time but sometimes a the unexpected can happen resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.

Even though miscarriage is extremely common, affecting an estimated 1 in 8 pregnancies for those who are aware they are pregnant, it doesn’t make it any easier to bear.

Anyone who is experiencing a miscarriage may need time to recover emotionally as well as physically, particularly if the miscarriage occurred at a late stage.

Unfortunately there is no statutory maternity pay available for people who suffer from a miscarriage, this can be difficult if there is a lot of pressure to get back to work.

There are a couple of options that you can discuss with your employer to gain some recovery time:

Sick leave – Your GP should be able to provide you with a sick note that you can give your employer to allow for some much needed time off work. How long you take will depend on your personal situation but this can be discussed with the GP. You will be entitled to sick pay that you would normally be eligible when off sick for other reasons.

Compassionate leave – Your employer may allow a period of compassionate leave so it’s worthwhile discussing with them. Your partner may also need some time off work to support you and recover emotionally themselves. They may be eligible for compassionate leave from their employer

When you return to work, you may find yourself feeling anxious about talking to your colleagues about what has happened, especially if they all knew that you were pregnant. If you feel that you would prefer not to have to tell people or discuss it straight away, you could ask your manager or HR to tell people for you.

Importantly, take each day as it comes as it can take time for you to feel like your normal self again. You may find that you have ups and downs, grief can affect you in different ways. If you feel you are struggling, reach out to your HR department or occupational health to see if anything can be put in place to help support you and protect your wellbeing and recovery

Read this next…

It’s time to break the fertility taboo in the workplace 

Last year over 640,000 births were registered in the UK, with the vast majority born to women of working age. Women are increasingly having children later in life, citing career and life goals, financial stability, and health concerns as just some of the reasons to delay starting a family. However, for working women, the personal and private decision to try for a baby can put a huge strain on day-to-day working life, particularly if they or their partner face struggles with infertility.

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