Miscarriage Group Supports With ‘Virtual Hugs’

The cold prevalence data shows that most families are affected in some way by the loss associated with miscarriage. Equally, it seems that most cultures find it hard to talk about. It’s also an issue that the health app industry has sometimes failed to address in the boom area of pregnancy apps.

Apps – Do no harm?

It’s hard to overstate the emotional impact of miscarriages on families, and the heightened anxiety this can bring for subsequent pregnancies. Miscarriage groups have in the past complained about some pregnancy apps where there is no easy way to stop the app relentlessly bombarding women with reminders and trackers for a pregnancy that is no longer there. In a reality bypass and turning the hippocratic oath on its head, some pregnancy app developers seem to have avoided the issue entirely, or been slow to handle this sensitively.

Sending virtual hugs

By contrast, miscarriage communities offer support from women who have experienced this very specific type of loss. During the pandemic, the UK Miscarriage Association has included in its suite of COVID-19 support for its community, the creative idea of `virtual hugs’ – a simple way to address and acknowledge the person’s isolation at a challenging point in their lives by sending a special e-card.

As the group puts it:

“We hope that these Virtual Hugs will help make it just that little bit easier for you to show you care, even from afar. Your support will help to offer comfort, and will remind your friends or family member that they’re not alone and that their loss matters.” – UK Miscarriage Association

During the pandemic, the Association pulled together a range of resources, and virtual channels such as zoom meetings, email, live chat, and direct messaging.

Targeted support during COVID-19

This range of support is mirrored on the opposite site of the world through the miscarriage group the Pink Elephants support network. One of this group’s strengths is producing low cost, downloadable PDF brochures. They offer a huge range of these to help women not only deal with their own loss, but also help their partners and other children come to terms too, and offer better support.  

Similarly, their COVID-19 resources offer downloads emphasising that ‘it’s OK to…not feel OK’, and advice on dealing with miscarriage or anxiety about pregnancy during the pandemic.  

The support network says:

“Even though you may be in self-isolation, it’s more important than ever to connect with people who understand how you’re feeling. The Pink Elephants’ community of women are wonderfully supportive and welcoming, and we offer safe places spaces for you to openly and honestly express your anxieties and concerns. We encourage you to join our online support groups or speak to one of our Peer Support Ambassadors. We are here for you!” – Pink Elephants Support Network, Australia

NEXT STEPS:

Find out more about the UK Miscarriage Association’s `virtual hugs’ and other resource at…

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Review the Pink Elephants Support Network range of COVID-19 help at…

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Visit our sister blog, and twitter #PAGC19, which brings together examples of how patient groups are supporting their patients during the pandemic at…

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