The trauma of miscarriage is not something that is easily discussed. It’s a silent fear that can keep a couple from celebrating a pregancy too early. And in the aftermath of a loss, the same silence can take hold again The feelings of loss can be overwhelming and time is needed to not only heal physically, but emotionally.
But when it comes to receiving support during this difficult time, fathers can often be sidelined and overlooked.
Though support systems are in place to offer counselling to women who have suffered a miscarriage, fathers are often forgotten during this process. The loss is suffered by both the mother and the father, the same as their prospective joy. But many fathers are left without recourse in the wake of a miscarriage.
The father is meant to be a rock; someone who can shoulder the grief of his partner and offer support during a traumatic time. A survey carried out by UCL in association with the Miscarriage Association showed that although 85% of partners experience sadness, with 63% suffering from grief and 55% still in shock. Yet only a quarter of partners shared these feelings. Many opting to remain silent for fear of upsetting their partner or saying the wrong thing. Those that did speak up said it had helped them with the grieving process.
Getting support after a miscarriage is not only important but necessary. However, the support offered in hospitals aims to mainly the woman suffering the miscarriage. Many partners don’t know who they can talk to, where to go for information or who to seek support from.
Fatherhood has changed so much in recent years, with dads taking an active role in the lead up to childbirth and after. Dads share in the anxiety, excitement and joy of becoming a parent. So when there is a loss they are bound to feel it just as profoundly.
For support, information and advice visit the Miscarriage Association site.