Why do we need this research?
Miscarriage isn’t just a physical experience: it is an emotional event both for mum, her partner and those around them. However, a lot of the care given after a miscarriage only focuses on physical recovery, without providing parents with the emotional support they need.
In particular, providing emotional support for male partners is often overlooked. We need to better understand the experiences of men after their partner’s miscarriage, so we can find the best way to help those who have suffered loss.
What’s happening in this project?
Our researchers started this project by carrying out a large review of other studies on men’s experiences of miscarriage. Their analysis of these studies, which reported on the experiences of 231 men, had many important findings about the roles that men assumed for themselves, and the assumptions made by others such as healthcare professionals.
The team discovered that many men felt that they were expected to be unaffected emotionally by pregnancy loss, and so did not ask for (or were not offered) the support they needed. The men also reported that it was assumed their role was to support their partner, so they found it difficult to express their own feelings. They often felt as they were being treated as observers, or event outsiders, to their partner’s care.
One group missing from previous research was men with experience of multiple miscarriages, who may have additional needs for support. To address this, our researchers have now begun a study to get the views from this group.
What difference will this project make?
The needs of male partners of women experiencing miscarriage has previously been overlooked. The learnings from this project will help doctors, nurses and midwives to give men the emotional support they need following pregnancy loss.
Thanks for your interest in our research
Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. We can keep you updated on ways you can support our work. If you would like to join our fight against baby loss and premature birth, click here.
More research projects
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.
As research shows half of UK mums are experiencing mental health problems in coronavirus lockdown, we've joined forces with Elvie on #TheBigSqueeze campaign to help Tommy's midwives continue to provide their vital support virtually during the pandemic.