We spoke to one mum about her experience of becoming pregnant after loss and how it has impacted her pregnancy this time round...
I have found my current pregnancy difficult in some ways due to previous loss of my pregnancies, both of them were found during my first scan appointments. This has made going to the hospital scan appointments feel daunting and much less of a happy, experience than if this were my first pregnancy.
Covid also meant my partner wasn’t able to come with me, which I completely understand, but I was so scared I would be given bad news alone. That wasn’t the case this time, but I have had a massive sense of guilt about not feeling as excited as I’d like to be and having worries at every stage. This has impacted my pregnancy in a lot of small ways, we only recently decided to start shopping for clothes and a pushchair.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the number of small ways previous baby loss, and just that sense of doubt, interact will lots of different parts of the pregnancy journey. It makes it less of a happy, hopeful time than you hope it should be.
Every time I feel him move it’s so reassuring, but there is a difficult balance of wanting to be informed and reading too much about patterns and movements, so it makes me worry more. I am aware that it’s not a great source of info but I am guilty of googling and researching about movements on the internet a lot. Sometimes these are professional websites, but also forums online. It’s hard to know what reliable sources of information are and forums seem to have more info that relates closer to my experience. Both can be scary, but also reassuring to know you aren’t going crazy and other ladies worry too. The thought of losing him and letting my partner, mum and dad, myself down again is so intense. I realise I am not ‘letting anyone down’ but at times it’s been so hard not to feel that way. There is a pressure to be informed and do everything you can, but at the same time you can only do so much and take so much in without it being overwhelming
When it comes to baby movements, it is hard to know what to look for or be concerned about. I have felt like I am learning my sons, only then for it to gradually evolve again a little while later. I think previous loss made me much more aware of my body and sensations than I otherwise might have been. Suddenly I doubt any cramp that I would have put down to growing pains during my first pregnancy, the spotting I had during the first few weeks became a sign that it was about to be over again rather than just a normal part of the pregnancy process. That said I think the doubt has also benefitted me as I am so protective over my son I am not taking any risks with our health.
Learning about hypnobirthing has been a massive help for information about birth and feeling calmer, not just for birth but pregnancy too. It’s really helped with my confidence and understanding more about the process feels good. The explanation of potential risks and the power of choice have made me feel less scared of the unknown and things happening to me and baby, so I would definitely recommend that to people who are in a similar place to me.
Logically I know this is a different pregnancy to my previous ones, but it doesn’t stop your mind wandering (and the late-night googling when I can’t sleep). It’s hard to know what support is out there without ending up looking at all the other sad stories of loss online. So for me, feeling informed has been the best way to feel confident and as in control as I can be.
Pregnancy after loss
Losing a baby can impact on how you and your partner feel during a next pregnancy. Be kind to yourselves. It’s understandable if you’re not enjoying trying again and it’s natural to feel some anxiety about how this pregnancy will progress.
We have a parenting after loss support group where you can find support from others as well as share your own experience.
Our Healthy Pregnancy tool also has a tailored pathway for anyone going through pregnancy after loss. The tool can give you personalised information to help you have a healthy pregnancy as well as extra support you may need along the way.
We're here to support you
Although we've had to temporarily close our support line as our midwives have moved to homeworking, our Tommy's midwives are still here to support you.
We are working hard to provide the best support and information we can during a time of extra anxiety and worry for pregnant women and their families.
Watch out for updates and contact us on the following platforms:
If you have non-urgent questions, we have developed Tommy's Midwife, a skill for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that answers many pregnancy queries, including some about COVID-19.