A support group for women and their partners who have suffered a miscarriage has been nominated for an Aberdeen’s Champion award.
Miscarriage Information Support Service (MISS) has been nominated for the Evening Express awards, which are run in association with Balmoral Group and Original 106FM, and celebrate individuals, businesses and charities supporting vulnerable people in communities across the north-east.
Setting up the charity after suffering a miscarriage herself, MISS founder and chairwoman Abi Clarke said she didn’t want other women and their partners to go through an early pregnancy loss alone and feel like they have nobody to turn to.
“I felt guilty and I struggled with mental health,” said Abi.
“It felt like miscarriage was such a taboo subject and there wasn’t really a lot of support or advice available in the north-east.
“So I wanted to create a safe space people could contact – whether that’s over the phone or face to face.
“Women and their partners can get in touch with us and we can provide them with the support they need.
“This can be emotional support – sometimes you just need someone to listen to you – or we can also offer some practical advice.”
While the charity started as a monthly support group in 2017, MISS committee members and volunteers now work closely with Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. The charity offers its support from the moment someone experiences a miscarriage at the hospital and the service remains in place until women feel better – both physically and mentally.
Losing a child is incredibly difficult under normal circumstances, but with social distancing measures in place, Abi said many women weren’t able to be with their partners and felt even more isolated and alone as a result.
“We made our phone service available 24/7 so that women could phone us at any time to talk,” said Abi.
“After lockdown measures were introduced, we didn’t waste any time and moved our meetings online and hosted them through Zoom.
“Some women actually prefer it because they can keep their cameras turned off and it feels more anonymous that way.”
While many have enjoyed having more time on their hands due to being furloughed, Abi pointed out that not having a daily routine or a job which keeps them busy can be challenging for women who had a miscarriage and it can have a negative impact on their mental health.
She said: “We have sent out more than 200 support packs during lockdown – not only to women who had to go through an early pregnancy loss during the pandemic, but also to women who suffered a miscarriage before.”
The self-care packs contain useful information, cards with motivational quotes, stress balls and essential oils which can relieve stress and anxiety.
MISS are posting out free support packs. These include Doterra essential oils (Wild Orange sample with information…
Abi and her dedicated team also provide advice and help women who’ve become pregnant after experiencing an early pregnancy loss.
She said: “Being pregnant again after a miscarriage can make them feel very anxious and stressed.
“We work closely with Aberdeen Maternity Hospital to offer this service.”
Women can talk to a midwife about their feelings, signs and symptoms to put their minds at ease. Their partners are also welcome to attend any sessions, support groups and fundraising events.
Abi concluded: “We are always here to support any individual who has gone through an early pregnancy loss. I don’t want anyone to feel alone going through this. Whether you want to attend one of our support groups or just want to talk on the phone, you can get in touch with MISS at any time of the day – call 07808 638428.”
MISS has been nominated for the Charity Champion accolade, which is sponsored by Archer Knight.
Go to www.dctevents.com/event/aberdeenschampionawards/ for more information and to enter the awards. Entries close on Monday.