Here you’ll find a wealth of practical tips for miscarriage, ranging from supplies that might help if you’re going to be at home, useful things to take into hospital if you’re undergoing medical intervention, or how to be prepared for travelling or going into work. For some women, a miscarriage will be just like a heavy period but for others it will be much heavier and prolonged. All these tips have been put together or recommended by various women, not just myself, to give you a well-rounded view of what you might find helpful.
Of course, every woman is different but most people I’ve spoken to who have been through a miscarriage found the unpredictable nature of it extremely hard to deal with; not knowing how long it will take or exactly what you’ll experience during that time. If, like me, being prepared for the worst case scenario makes you feel a little better and more in control of the situation, this page will hopefully be a useful resource.
If you’d like to add any tips or advice, you can get in touch via the Contact form – you don’t need to leave your name or any personal info, submissions can be completely anonymous.
If you’ve suffered a missed miscarriage and are booked in to have medical intervention, or you’ve already undergone medical intervention, you’ll have been given advice at the hospital on what to expect. However, you might still find it useful to have some of the supplies readily available.
If you’ve suffered a natural spontaneous miscarriage, or a missed miscarriage that could be recognised by your body at any moment, it’s a good idea to get stocked up on everything you might need while you’re at home so you don’t need to worry about leaving the house unless you absolutely have to.
This one is probably quite obvious but rather than sticking with your usual sanitary protection, try and stock up on a range of different thicknesses to help you through the different stages.
- A lot of women find that a thicker, incontinence type pad gives more peace of mind once the miscarriage starts, especially if you’re experiencing heavier bleeding than you’re used to during your period. Always Discrete Maxi Night or Tena Lady are both brands that have been recommended.
- Only use pads, not tampons or any other method of sanitary protection, due to the risk of infection.
- If you’re worried about bleeding/leaking overnight, or don’t want to keep getting up to go to the bathroom, a fitted incontinence pant might work well. Again, Tena Lady does a large range from discrete, slim-fitting pants to bulky, highly padded variations.
- A slightly thinner pad for when the bleeding slows is also a good idea, as well as a pack of pant-liners, as once the worst is over you’re likely to experience spotting for a little while afterwards.
- Even when you think it’s all over, keep a thick sanitary towel, pant-liner and a spare pair of underwear in your bag just in case.
- Two hot water bottles – one for your stomach and one for your back – can help to soothe any painful cramps
- A hot bath is also a good way to help with any cramping; just be sure not to use any bubble bath or products due to the risk of infection.
- Blankets – have a blanket or extra layers close by. If you have to take yourself off to the bathroom for an hour or so, it can get pretty chilly depending on the time of year.
Always check with a medical professional before taking medication. Once you’ve got the all clear, ensure you are stocked up on painkillers; the pain from cramps can really vary, you might find they are quite intense over a short period before switching to being very on and off – everyone is different.
If you can, take painkillers before the pain becomes too intense. I personally found Solpadeine Max to be the only over-the-counter tablet that took the edge off the pain when the cramps were at their worst.
You might wonder why on earth you’d care about being entertained during this horrible experience but distraction can really help. Depending on how it all unfolds, you may find yourself stuck in the bathroom for a good few hours or needing to repeatedly get up and down to go to the loo; either way, having a distraction such a silly TV show to pass time can make a huge difference.
- Ipad/Mobile phone: a good idea to have these close to hand, so you can watch a tv show or read an online magazine. You might not feel like you’re in the mood for it, but having a bit of ‘background noise’ or something distracting can actually be really helpful.
- Magazines or a book: A stack of reading material close by that can be picked up or put down at a moment’s notice.
Snacks & Fluids
You might think that eating and drinking will be the last thing on your mind while you’re going through this, but depending on how long it lasts, it’s important to keep your strength up and stay hydrated. Plus, you need to give yourself a bit of TLC – if you want two chocolate bars and a cry, go for it.
- Keep a bottle of water with you so that if you’re alone and have to stay in the bathroom for a little while, you’ve got a drink close by.
- Easily-to-grab snacks such as breakfast or chocolate bars are also good to have readily available
- If you have children, see if you can get a friend or relative to help with them or come over to babysit. You might have to take yourself off for a while and even if you don’t, it’s a draining, emotionally draining time and you won’t have the energy to run around after them
- Try and ensure you have someone with your or nearby if you can for comfort and support, whether it’s bringing you over something to eat, making you a cuppa or lending a hand if you feel a bit dizzy or weak.
- If you’re somebody who finds it healing to talk about how you’re feeling, find someone to chat to as and when you need to – whether this is a real life friend, relative or partner, or a dedicated helpline or forum online.
- Let people know any warning signs to look out for – if the back of your neck feels cold, you have a very high temperature or the pain becomes unbearable, go to A&E or call an ambulance. If in doubt, always seek medical help and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
- Old, comfy PJ bottoms or sweatpants if you’re just staying at home; the kind you’re not fussed about chucking away if you have to.
- Same with underwear – your old, ratty ‘laundry-day’ or Bridget Jones pants are your best friend here as you want to be as comfortable and ‘held in’ as possible.
- Make sure you have plenty of spare toilet rolls and a pack or two of wet wipes on hand in the bathroom, easily within reach.
- Maternity mats – it can feel like a cruel twist of fate to be ordering anything ‘maternity’ but these plastic-based mats are really useful for sleeping on or sitting on if you’re chilling out on the sofa and experiencing a very heavy bleed. Alternatively, cut a black sack bin bag down one long side and lay it flat under your sheet, then place a towel on top of the sheet – it creates a very similar barrier. I found that having something like this in place gave me extra peace of mind and an extra layer of coverage.
- TENS Machine – if you’ve already got one, it might be worth giving it a go if the pain gets really bad.
- If you want to be really prepared, have an emergency over night bag packed incase you need to go to hospital. Pads, entertainment, snacks and spare clothes will make a sudden stay much more comfortable.
- Invest in a really nice bubble bath or shower gel and moisturiser for when it’s all over – that first scented bath afterwards feels like a real luxury and is a tiny step on the road to feeling back to normal.