No support for women who miscarry

Bree McNickle says there’s a lack of support in Coffs for women who have had a miscarriage.
Bree McNickle says there’s a lack of support in Coffs for women who have had a miscarriage. Bruce Thomas

LOSING a baby is devastating enough but, according to Bree McNickle, the situation is made worse by a severe lack of support in the region.

Mrs McNickle and her husband were over the moon when they found out they were expecting their second child earlier this year.

However, at seven weeks into the pregnancy, the unthinkable happened.

“I woke up and realised something was wrong, so I called the hospital. They said to wait at home and if things got worse, come in,” Mrs McNickle said.

A little time later, Mrs McNickle went to the emergency department at Coffs Harbour Health Campus, where she was asked to wait. Four hours later, she miscarried in the toilet.

“It’s the most horrible thing to go through and there is just no support here,” she said. “The whole experience is horrible. The waiting, not knowing what to do and afterward there is no one to talk to.

“I understand that because I wasn’t 12 weeks they wouldn’t put me straight through to pregnancy care but there should be more funding so women who think they are miscarrying can go straight through and be treated straight away, or at least have someone tell them what is happening.”

The North Coast Area Health Service investigated Mrs McNickle’s story yesterday.

“The patient attended the Emergency Department in September last year and was triaged and seen by Emergency Medical Staff within a half an hour, well within appropriate benchmark times,” a spokesperson said.

“She received an ultrasound which revealed she had unfortunately experienced a miscarriage. The North Coast Area Health Service expresses its deepest sympathy to the patient.”

It appears no member of the hospital staff made an official record of the miscarriage happening in the toilet.

Mrs McNickle said her experience was bad enough but the weeks that followed were just as difficult.

“I looked up in the White Pages and there was only one phone number you could call for miscarriage support. Under ‘abortion’ there were about six or seven. There are a heap of forums online but you really want that face-to-face support. I was lucky enough to have a couple of people close to me who I could speak to – but for some women, there would be no one.”

Mrs McNickle is happy to hear from any women who have been through the same thing and explore the possibility of starting a group. Email:

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