If you have experienced pregnancy loss or you have had a difficult or traumatising birth experience before, then I recommend seeing me before you conceive again. Part of my role as your obstetrician is to help you prepare for your next pregnancy in the best possible way. Stillbirth, a near-miss situation, or the fear of another miscarriage can cause massive anxiety.
My role is to inform and support you so you and your partner are not alone.
Unfortunately, miscarriage is very common. Most pregnancy losses happen early in pregnancy, in the first 12 weeks.
Studies show that up to one in five women, will have a miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Your body goes through some extremely complex processes when a new human being is conceived and starts developing. In this process, things can go wrong, and most miscarriages are a ‘random event’, meaning it is unlikely to happen again. If you have had 2 or more confirmed miscarriages without a live birth I would like to see you to talk and do some simple tests.
If you have any pregnancy loss in the second or third trimester you should see me for careful investigation. We do not want the same thing to happen again.
“As a woman you are born with all the eggs you will ever have. As you grow older, your egg quality reduces and there is more chance that your pregnancy has an abnormal chromosomal arrangement. Age related changes do occur for men too but are more subtle.”
Blood loss in pregnancy: am I miscarrying?
Previous miscarriage and anxiety
The loss of a wanted pregnancy can be devastating and I believe that you deserve personalised and individualised care. I want you to hold a healthy, full term, perfect little human being.
I still remember the devastation of one particular first-time mother when she had a miscarriage at 8 weeks. With investigation we were able to diagnose a balanced Robertsonian translocation in her partner, something that is associated with recurrent miscarriages. With the help of Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) of IVF embryos, her next 2 pregnancies resulted in beautiful healthy babies. Just as importantly, she had no further miscarriages and her family was complete!
“I understand your journey. I have had well over 10 years experience working at the Perinatal Loss Clinic at King Edward Memorial Hospital, a statewide service to support women and their families who have lost pregnancies in the second and third trimester and help plan for their future.”
Cervical weakness and miscarriage
When can cervical weakness occur?
- If you have had a second trimester pregnancy interruption
- If you have had more than one LLETZ* or LEEP* surgery or a cone biopsy for precancerous cervical changes,
- If you have a connective tissue disease such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
A Cervical Cerclage or stitch is the treatment for cervical incompetence. I regularly perform this surgery.
*LLETZ: Large loop excision of the transformation zone
*LEEP: Loop electrosurgical excision procedure
A procedure to remove abnormal cervical tissue of the cervix using a thin wire loop that is heated electrically.
Support after stillbirth
If you had a close call...or a near miss
My recommendation – if you have had a difficult pregnancy before – is to come and see me before you conceive again. My work as your obstetrician then starts with looking at how we can improve your next pregnancy, for the benefit of your future baby but also you as a parent.
I’ve got your back
The discovery that you are pregnant should be a time of such joy, as it is for most women and their partners. If this joy has been taken away by two, three or more miscarriages, the prospect of another pregnancy can be terrifying and stressful. Please do not walk this journey alone. There are a number of options available if you are in this situation. What I have learned is that the assessment and any choices or steps need to be 100% personalised. So please, make a time to come and see me, with your partner if possible.
For more information about pregnancy loss, visit Pregnancy Loss Australia