'˜Our ordeal needs to spark a change in NHS aftercare'
A woman who suffered a miscarriage is calling for changes in aftercare because newborns were '˜paraded past her' just moments after receiving the heartbreaking news.
Kim Diggins, 31, was devastated to be told that what would have been her first child’s heart had stopped after seven weeks of pregnancy.
She then had to undergo surgery and attend counselling sessions at Watford General Hospital.
But when Miss Diggins and her fiance Adam Jones, 31, were feeling hopeless, they said they were reminded of the heartbreak by a ‘lack of empathy’ at the hospital.
They were even asked ‘How many children do you have?’ by a consultant who the couple say should have checked their notes to avoid being insensitive.
The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust says it has recently ramped up midwifery training and support.
“It’s a huge sense of loss and you feel empty anyway,” said Miss Diggins, who lives with Adam in Gadebridge.
“But it’s a greater sense of emptiness than knowing your baby is gone, to hear others finding out that everything is OK with their baby.
“It’s hard enough to go through without ‘Here’s what you could have had’.
“Babies are paraded in front of you.”
Miss Diggins, who works as a customer care advisor, has begun a petition which attracted more than 200 signatures in its first week.
But she hopes that her campaign can go national and the ultimate goal is to reach the 10,000 signatures needed for the government to acknowledge her campaign.
She wants miscarriage aftercare to ensure a consultation room in a different ward is available and consultants should properly scan over notes to avoid inappropriate questions.
Miss Diggins said: “Whilst suffering a miscarriage, our bodies not only have to deal with a physical loss, but a raw, painful, emotional loss. And like with any loss, we’re grieving.
“An ultrasound scanner in a quiet room, even a few wards away, would make such an awful experience just a little bit easier.
“And having a quick scan of our notes before having a chat with us would stop us having to answer these difficult questions.”
A spokesman for the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Miscarriage is a very distressing experience for any woman.
“We endeavour to support any woman going through such an experience. Our midwives are trained to provide compassionate care.
“We have recently appointed a new bereavement midwife to join the team and to provide additional training and support to our women and staff.”