Support in the community
Aim to offer women and partners the aftercare and emotional support they need, respond to their concerns, and provide information about and/or referral to other sources of help as needed.
Women and partners tell us they found it hard to cope after their loss and to find appropriate support.
What do we need to do?
- Once notified of the loss the GP practice, primary midwives or health visitors should consider contacting the woman to acknowledge the loss and offer further contact if she wishes.
- The loss should be coded in the GP notes and references to an ongoing pregnancy cancelled.
- At follow up and subsequent appointments:
- pay attention to the woman’s emotional wellbeing as well as physical needs
- listen to the words the woman and partner use and take those words and their fertility history into consideration when responding
- be ready to answer questions about potential future pregnancies and whether anything can be done to reduce risk
- make sure women and partners know whom to contact if they would like preconception advice where appropriate.
- Ensure you are aware of the types of bereavement support available within the NHS and from support organisations and provide details (see Useful contacts).
- Offer referral for specialist psychological support if there are signs that might indicate PTSD or clinical depression.
- Consider NICE guidance on antenatal and postnatal mental health and SIGN guidance on perinatal mood disorders.
How will we know we have achieved our aim?
Women and partners will tell us their emotional needs were recognised and acknowledged and they were given appropriate advice on getting the care and support they wanted.
Staff will say they feel able to recognise and acknowledge the loss and feel confident and competent when identifying contacts for further care and signposting to support organisations.