Pregnancy after loss (rainbow pregnancy)

Pregnancy after loss (rainbow pregnancy)

Pregnancy after the loss of a baby can be a very complicated emotional journey. Whether the loss was an early miscarriage, an unexplained stillbirth at term, a baby with very major health issues for whom you decided that the most loving decision was to end the pregnancy through termination, or whatever the reason, in another pregnancy you often experience a complicated mix of hope, excitement and fear. Pregnancy after loss is often referred to as a "rainbow pregnancy". The darkness and the...

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Worried about your baby and far from home

Worried about your baby and far from home

I have been working with a couple who live a very international lifestyle. Cross-cultural care, navigating two different healthcare systems adds to the challenges parents face when concerns arise. They were worried about their baby after screening tests, but far from home and trying to understand a new healthcare system. They came to me to try to make sense of confusing information.  https://yourmidwife.org.uk/services/decision-making-support-counselling/ They have given permission for me to...

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“Your baby cannot survive” – an abnormal pregnancy scan

“Your baby cannot survive” – an abnormal pregnancy scan

Going for an ultrasound scan in pregnancy is usually an exciting experience. When a major problem is seen, however, this excitement can change in moments. You can be faced with unexpected and devastating news. Being told "your baby cannot survive" makes it very difficult to hear any more. Abnormal pregnancy scan findings face you with complex decision making and choices that no parent wishes to face. Some abnormalities are so serious that it is certain that the baby will be unable to survive....

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We need to talk about baby loss

We need to talk about baby loss

In the 21st Century we seem to have accepted a myth that once you have a positive pregnancy test you can (and should) start to plan the life you will live with that child. A secondary myth is that every baby will be perfectly formed and perfectly healthy. Sadly, for a great many, those dreams are shattered. Part of my work is with families whose baby has died and so often I hear them say "I didn't know that babies could die". Babies are lost at all stages of pregnancy, at birth and afterwards....

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Screening tests in pregnancy- chromosomal abnormalities

Screening tests in pregnancy- chromosomal abnormalities

In my work as an independent specialist midwife, I aim to provide balanced and up to date information for those seeking to make complex decisions which will affect the rest of their lives. I often find myself challenging assumptions (my own and others), and I try to consider multiple perspectives of a specific issue. Supporting parents to make the choices which are right for them is the core of my professional practice. Recent advances in medical science have created new dilemmas for expectant...

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“Doctors told me to abort my daughter”

“Doctors told me to abort my daughter”

A newspaper headline this week reminded me of the reason why Walking With You exists. The headline read “Doctors told me to abort my daughter 14 times…I refused and now have a healthy baby girl” (The Sun 10.9.19) The report says that baby had been found to have a complex gastro-intestinal abnormality and the woman is quoted as saying “Doctors told me every week to terminate my pregnancy…I refused”. Over the years I have sat with many women/couples who have just been given very difficult news...

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Why you might want to employ a independent specialist midwife

Why you might want to employ a independent specialist midwife

The main reasons that people give for considering using an independent midwife is that they want specialist care or support that isn’t readily available on the NHS, they want to have more flexible (and longer) appointments, and wanting to see and get to know their midwife who can support and guide them throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond. In the UK, most women will be able to access free NHS services. The NHS is working to develop continuity of care for pregnant women, so do ask...

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Perinatal hospice and multidisciplinary working

Perinatal hospice and multidisciplinary working

For me, perinatal hospice is about maximising opportunities for families when their child's life is likely to be short. Whilst many people will know that hospices are about care of the dying, few will understand the role that hospice care can play in maximising quality of life, both for the child and for the wider family. I was honoured to be invited by Together for Short Lives to be involved with development of national guidelines in 2017.

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Antenatal tests and what they can & can’t tell you

Many clients come to me after having a test in pregnancy and then receiving unexpected news. The first thing to clarify is what type of test this was. Is it a "screening" test that has identified that there is an increased chance that your baby is affected by a particular condition, or is it a "diagnostic" test, which can give a definite answer. The team at ARC have produced some very useful resources which are often a good place to start as you try to understand the situation you are facing....

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What does perinatal hospice mean?

What does perinatal hospice mean?

This is a very evocative film which introduces the concept of neonatal hospice. It isn't a place, it is a state of being. I feel very honoured to be involved in journeys like this with families.

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Angie Bowles, specialist midwife supporting choice. Reach out for help or advice today. Angie reads and replies to every one.