The Pregnancy Loss Research Group and INFANT Research Centre at University College Cork this week launched www.corkmiscarriage.com, a first-of-its-kind website in Ireland.
One in four pregnancies end in first trimester miscarriage. For many women and their partners, miscarriage is unexpected and can be an upsetting experience.
The silence and stigma associated with pregnancy loss can be compounded by the lack of reliable, accessible online information.
The new website provides medically accurate, sensitive and user-friendly information for those who experience first trimester miscarriage.
It is designed to guide users through what to expect when a miscarriage happens, what to do and how to access appropriate services, while complementing the care and support women receive in maternity hospitals.
The website will also be a helpful resource for clinical staff who care for bereaved parents through the difficult journey of miscarriage.
The website has been developed by Clinical Bereavement Midwife Specialist Anna Maria Verling, Parent Advocate Rachel Rice, Public Engagement Manager Caoimhe Byrne in collaboration with Dr Sabina Tabirca and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Principal Investigator at INFANT.
Anna Maria Verling, said: “We identified a particular gap in the information and support available to women and their partners who experience first trimester miscarriage. Couples need to have access to reliable, medically accurate information when healthcare professionals may not be available to answer their questions and alleviate their worries. Developing an on-line resource meets this need.”
Rachel Rice, Parent Advocate commented: “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. It would have made such a difference to have had access to understandable and reliable information that I could have referred to at any time, day or night.”
Dr O’Donoghue and her team at INFANT, UCC, are leading investigators in the area of pregnancy loss and perinatal death.
Dr Keelin O’Donoghue said: “This website highlights the importance of the research group, bereaved parents, clinical staff and the INFANT team working collaboratively and applying expertise from different backgrounds and perspectives to create a resource to support the women, partners and families that we care for.”
The website will provide information on Pregnancy, Pregnancy Concerns, Miscarriage Symptoms, Miscarriage Types, Management and Services, Feelings and Emotions, and Pregnancy after Miscarriage.
While the website is specific to the services operating in Cork University Maternity Hospital, the information is relevant to parents and maternity services nationally and internationally.