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Traumatic birth, stillbirth and miscarriage

Traumatic birth, stillbirth and miscarriage

Most women have healthy pregnancies and smooth births but sometimes a woman loses her baby during pregnancy (miscarries), has a stillbirth or has a difficult (traumatic) birth. If this happens to you, healthcare professionals should be understanding and offer you advice and support if you would like it. They should not offer therapy that involves 're‑living' the experience because evidence suggests that this isn't helpful.

Occasionally women develop post‑traumatic stress disorder after a miscarriage or difficult birth. If this happens, you should be offered a psychological therapy recommended for this type of problem (see other NICE guidance for more information).

If your baby is stillborn or dies soon after birth, a person with skills and experience in this area should talk with you sensitively about whether you would like to see a photograph of your baby, have a memento of your baby or see or hold your baby. If your baby has died during pregnancy, this discussion should happen before the birth. Your wishes should be respected at all times and you should be offered another later appointment to talk things over.

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