Despite the name, Miscarriage Support Auckland is not only for Aucklanders.
Miscarriage Support is a team of volunteers of various ages who have all experienced the loss of their own babies. While recognising that everybody’s experience is unique, the group members understand the pain and isolation that often follows miscarriage and the need for emotional support. The group has a website that reflects their knowledge and experience and will hopefully be useful in helping others come to terms with their grief.
The Auckland group began in 1985 when two friends got together after they each experienced a miscarriage and found that their devastating feelings were often minimised and invalidated by others, including medical professionals.
Even though they were only pregnant a short time, others did not seem to understand that it is the strength of the bond with their baby, not the pregnancy length, that determins the intensity of women’s grief.
The word ‘miscarriage’ does not adequately or sensitively describe what is often the trauma associated with an early pregnancy death. What was experienced was both a birth and a death. A more appropriate name that would better describe and validate the feelings would be ‘premature stillbirth’.
Miscarriage Support is a small, non-profit NGO (non-governmental organisation) incorporated society that started in 1985 with two women looking for answers. There are now 10 groups nationwide and they all operate differently. Some are dedicated to miscarriage, others offer miscarriage support as well as other services e.g. In Christchurch, miscarriage is a part of SANDS (Stillbirth and New-born Death Support).
What does it do?
Miscarriage Support has grown to give website, email, bulletin-board, phone and pamphlet support and information to currently 200,000 women each year.
Statistics vary but, including un-reported losses, indications are that 1 in 4 women can experience miscarriage. So, many families are affected and the woman’s next pregnancy is affected as well. Most miscarriages happen in the first 13 weeks but can happen up to 20 weeks, after which the legal definition of loss then becomes a still-birth.
The group’s aims are:
- To provide emotional and psychological support for women and their families during and after miscarriage and during subsequent pregnancies.
- To promote understanding in the community of the consequences of miscarriage for women and their families.
- To achieve a greater level of understanding on the part of health professionals about the psychological consequences of miscarriage on their patients.
- To provide assistance to new support groups setting up other areas.
The group encourages women to accept their feelings whatever they are, as they are all healthy normal grief responses, although everyone’s experience will be unique to them. Unexpressed grief always has repercussions although they are not necessarily recognised. Partners may not understand as there is often a difference between male and female grief. Many relationships founder without good communication.
How is it funded?
Miscarriage Support is a non-profit organisation that relies on donations and grants. Membership is offered with subscriptions by donation.
How can I get their help?
You can contact Miscarriage Support through:
- Supportline phone 09 378 4060
- Website www.miscarriagesupport.org.nz
- Email: email@example.com
- Contact details for branch and related groups are available on the website.
How much does it cost?
Information is available free of charge. A donation for our NFP, Non-Govt. funded organisation would be appreciated.
Link to the Miscarriage Support website
This a comprehensive, well-designed website with considerable information relating to miscarriage and associated resources. There is supporting medical information provided by health professionals and also a section for men to help them deal with their own grief and that of their partner. The site covers emotional and practical issues and also offers help for setting up a support group in your own area. The site also includes touching testimonials from women and family members on their experience of miscarriage.
Miscarriage – Find out more about the causes and implication for women in NZ today.
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Ectopic Pregnancy – Read about the causes and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and treatment for the condition.