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Pink Elephants a clear referral pathway for women previously left unsupported after miscarriage

Photo: Pink Elephants a clear referral pathway for women previously left unsupported af....
The Pink Elephants Support Network is calling on healthcare professionals to use the charity as a clear referral pathway, after a new survey revealed an alarming number of women were not offered any information from healthcare professionals following a miscarriage.

Preliminary results from a recent collaborative study between the University of Melbourne and the Pink Elephants Support Network found of 400 women who responded to a survey about health service support around miscarriage, 300 (75%) were not offered information or leaflets about pregnancy loss organisations in the days following their miscarriage.

Fifty nine per cent (236 women) were not offered any information about miscarriage or support services, or any referral for emotional support at all.

Of these 236 women who were offered no support, 88 per cent would have liked to havereceived information or leaflets about pregnancy loss support organisations around the time of miscarriage.
One in four pregnancies will end before 12 weeks, and one in three pregnant women over the age of 35 will experience pregnancy loss. In Australia, 103,000 couples report a miscarriage every year, leaving those affected feeling physically and emotionally shocked and often at a loss as to where to turn for support.

Pink Elephants Support Network co-founder and Director Samantha Payne said the charity wanted to help healthcare professionals to support women following a miscarriage.

“Women and their partners going through miscarriage and infertility can experience really intense periods of emotional distress that can lead to heightened anxiety or depression if left unsupported,” Ms Payne said.

“The Pink Elephants Support Network is a clear referral pathway of peer reviewed, evidence based content that can help a woman and her support network immensely.

“We acknowledge how busy and often overstretched healthcare professionals are, which is why we want to support them and raise awareness into the impact of early pregnancy loss.

“Despite the fact it is common, that women who is sitting in your office has just lost her child. She deserves to feel supported with the right tools and information so she doesn’t get stuck in her grief.”

The Pink Elephants Support Network provides free online resources that have now been downloaded more than 7,300 times since launch in 2016; provides emotional support literature for women in the majority of hospitals in NSW; and is expanding into GP practices later this year.

The Pink Elephants Support Network also offers personalised peer support, six free sessions with another woman who has walked a similar journey, providing a safe space to share feelings and emotions.

Through a combination of online support groups, peer support & emotional support literature they are providing women and their partners with the validation, empathy and connections they need and deserve specific to early pregnancy loss.

Ms Payne said the responsibility of care and support was one the whole community needed to share, not just the charity space.

“These survey results tell us there is a huge gap in linking women with the basic level of support they need, and the Pink Elephants Network can’t reach those women without help.

We are calling on the Federal and State Governments, corporates and generous donors to commit to helping us to support more couples in need, couples who are left feeling devastatingly isolated, confused and often let down.”


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