emotional help

Late miscarriage

When it could happen and the support available

What is a late miscarriage?

A late miscarriage is when you lose your baby between 12 weeks and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A miscarriage at any time is a traumatic experience for parents to go through, but if you lose your baby later into your pregnancy, you might find it even tougher to come to terms with.

Most miscarriage occurs early in pregnancy, and late miscarriage is much less common, affecting around just 2% of women. If your baby dies after 24 weeks, they are considered stillborn.

What happens if I have a late miscarriage?

If you lose your baby later in pregnancy, you might go into natural labour, or you might beinduced.  With late miscarriages, is it likely you will be able to see your baby, spend timewith them, hold them and take photographs to remember them by, if you wish to do so.This will be entirely up to you, and your midwives and doctors will support you and respectyour decision either way.

Legally, you do not have to hold a funeral for a baby who dies before 24 weeks as they will not be officially registered, but you may wish to do so. Your hospital might have proceduresin place for burial or cremation, and will be able to advise you on this

Where to get support after a late miscarriage

You are likely to feel very fragile and numb after your baby's loss. You need to take your grief one day at a time, and deal with it in your own way. You might find friends, and even family, will struggle to find the right words to say to you and your partner, while you might want to talk in detail about what you have gone through. Again, this is something you need to do at your pace, and set the agenda.

Do not let your grief be dictated by other people, or feel that you should be going through certain 'stages' at set times. You will need a lot of help and support to come to terms with what has happened, even though it might take you a long time to make any sense of it.

The Miscarriage Association can offer you and your partner support and advice at this difficult time.

Your body will also be going through the physical aftermath of giving birth, such as bleeding and post-labour pains – speak to your midwife or doctor if you are in a lot of pain, or have any signs of infection.

The Miscarriage Association can offer you and your partner support and advice at this difficult time

Late miscarriage