Fertility after baby loss: Seeking answers and moving forward

Losing a pregnancy, at whatever stage, can be heart-breaking, and an instinctive reaction is to question why it happened and whether it could have been prevented. “After my first miscarriage I felt a bit of a failure” says Dr Sharleen Hapuarachi. “I went on to have two more. I think it sometimes helps for patients to know that I have my own experience of baby loss and can relate to what they are going through.”

Dr Hapuarachi to talk about early pregnancy loss

Dr Hapuarachi is a founding member of Bourn Hall’s new Miscarriage Clinic and is the speaker at a special Fertility Support Group meeting ‘Fertility After Loss’ on 11 October, taking place during Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Dr Hapuarachi says that it can be difficult for couples to move on and try again after losing a pregnancy, but she is keen to emphasise that there is still a good chance that they will go on to have a baby.

“One of the first things I say to couples who come to us at the Miscarriage Clinic is that at least we know that they can get pregnant,” says Dr Hapuarachi. “And that is a real positive to take from a negative experience.

“A lot of women I see have gone ‘into’ themselves, thinking there must be something wrong with them and that they have ‘done something’ to cause the miscarriage. There is a lot of ‘self-blame’ that goes on and they want to know why it happened.

“The simple answer is that most of the time it is a chance event, it is just bad luck, and for most couples who experience a miscarriage there is a very low risk of it happening again.”

However, there are often unanswered questions and the need for reassurance. It is possible to self-refer to Bourn Hall’s Miscarriage Clinic where tests can be used to rule out underlying conditions, such as thyroid or blood clotting issues, as well as advise on actions to take or treatments to reduce the risk of future pregnancy losses.

Sharleen Hapuarachi
Sharleen Hapuarachi

Anyone that has experience early pregnancy loss is welcome to join a special meeting of the Fertility Support Group: “Fertility After Loss” on 11th October, just reserve your place. 

Understands what patients are going through

Dr Hapuarachi feels that her own personal experience of having three miscarriages over a period of three years strengthens the level of support she is able to give patients coming through her clinic.

“I had my first miscarriage at 15 weeks and then two early miscarriages,” she says. “After tests I was told I still had a good chance of a successful pregnancy and so took quite a pragmatic approach and looked at what was in my gift to change.

“One thing I knew I did have control over was my weight so I focused on that. I changed my relationship with food and lost 10kg and so I do talk about my own weight loss with my patients who are struggling with specific diets and discuss what they could try.”

BH Cambridge Wave of Light
Bourn Hall will be showing its support for Baby Loss Awareness Week

Support for the journey

Counsellor Jackie Stewart coordinates the Fertility Support Group and says that early pregnancy loss can make people more nervous about trying to get pregnant again.

“It is perfectly natural to feel anxious and sad sometimes whilst trying again for a baby,” she says. “Give yourself time to heal and permission to grieve for the sense of loss you are feeling.”

“By giving yourself the best support and allowing some of these feelings to be present, it is possible to work safely with these thoughts and feelings and come through to a place of peace.”

More information

Book a free place at the special meeting of the Fertility Support Group: “Fertility After Loss”.

You can self refer to Bourn Hall’s Miscarriage Clinic – We also offer counselling and a Fertility Support Group more information about coping with loss

UK charities involved in Baby Loss Awareness Week include Sands, the Miscarriage Association and the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. Since 2014 Sands has taken a lead role in promoting the week and you can find out more about this year’s activities for the week at the dedicated website babyloss-awareness.org.

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