A new website featuring medically accurate, sensitive and user-friendly information for women and couples on first trimester miscarriage has been launched in Cork.
Developers of the website www.corkmiscarriage.com are hoping it will also be used by healthcare professionals as a resource when liaising with women experiencing early miscarriage.
Emanating from the Pregnancy Loss Research Group at University College Cork (UCC), the site supports users with information on pregnancy concerns, miscarriage symptoms, miscarriage types, management and services, feelings and emotions, and pregnancy after miscarriage.
Ms Anna-Maria Verling, Clinical Bereavement Midwife Specialist at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), told the Medical Independent (MI) the site was introduced to fill an information void for people experiencing early miscarriage. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.
“Miscarriage as an outcome in pregnancy isn’t mentioned…so women go into pregnancy expecting everything to go well. Thankfully most of the time it does. But we know one-in-four pregnancies end in first trimester miscarriage,” Ms Verling noted.
“We’re hoping the website brings more awareness of miscarriage, that it becomes more spoken of…we want to take away the stigma and silence that’s often associated with miscarriage and pregnancy loss.”
Ms Rachel Rice, a parent advocate, spoke of her pregnancy loss and explained that at the time it was challenging to absorb all of the information provided directly by clinicians.
“It wasn’t until I experienced pregnancy loss, that I realised how unprepared I was for the physical and emotional reality of miscarriage. It is not always possible at the time of diagnosis to take in all the information that is provided by healthcare professionals.
“Most miscarriages happen at home. Even though I absolutely got information in the hospital at the time, I really wasn’t able to take it all in. It wasn’t until I was going through it that the questions I had came up…I needed information at my fingertips 24/7 but I needed to know it was medically accurate.”
The website was developed by Ms Verling, Ms Rice and Public Engagement Manager Ms Caoimhe Byrne in collaboration with Dr Sabina Tabirca and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician at CUMH and Principal Investigator at INFANT.
The website is specific to the services operating at CUMH, but the information is relevant to maternity services nationally and internationally.