What is a late miscarriage?
A miscarriage that occurs after week 12 up to week 22 is considered a late miscarriage. After week 22, it is no longer classified as a miscarriage but rather as intrauterine foetal death.
How common is late miscarriage?
Late miscarriage is uncommon after week 12.
How do you know if you have experienced a late miscarriage?
Late miscarriage often begins with pain in the lower part of the abdomen, above the pubic bone, or in the lower back. It may be felt around the entire pelvis and may also radiate on the inside of the thighs. Many describe it as strong menstrual pain, which can be persistent or come and go like cramps. If you are well into pregnancy, it may feel like labor contractions. Often, it also starts with heavy bleeding, a fresh red bleeding that may contain clots. It may also begin with the rupture of amniotic fluid. If you have started feeling the baby move, the first symptoms may be the cessation of fetal movements. Contact your midwife or healthcare provider for assistance if the bleeding is heavy, meaning you bleed through a large pad in less than an hour, or if you have difficulty managing the pain. If possible, it's good to have someone by your side to support you. For pain relief, you can use paracetamol and apply heat in the form of a warm shower or a hot water bottle. Sometimes, the pain may require seeking medical attention for more effective and stronger pain relief than what is available at home. In most cases, the body expels the entire pregnancy on its own, but sometimes a procedure called scraping may be necessary to ensure the uterus is completely empty. Bleeding after a miscarriage should gradually decrease and then disappear.
How to move on after a late miscarriage?
Many women who experience a miscarriage tend to blame themselves although this almost always not the case. It is essential to remember that you cannot cause a miscarriage through stress, exercise, or lifting heavy objects. You also cannot induce a miscarriage by flying an airplane. What you can do during pregnancy is to take care of yourself as best as you can: eat nutritious and varied food, exercise, rest when you are tired, avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs. Taking extra folic acid may have a protective effect, as folic acid reduces the risk of abnormalities in the embryo. Be cautious with medications and consult with your midwife or doctor if you need to take any medication. Beyond that, you can only try to trust your body and believe that it will do what it needs to do.
Source - Ajne, G., Blomberg, M. & Carlsson Y. (2021). Obstetrik. Studentlitteratur. - 1177.se