This is a very personal decision, as miscarriage affects everyone differently. There are many reasons for these differences, including how early the miscarriage occurs, any pre-existing physical or mental health conditions, the number of previous miscarriages suffered, close friends or family members having babies around the same time and whether the pregnancy was as a result of IUI or IVF treatment. Many people who have miscarried after fertility treatment, may know, due to their age or financial constraints, that trying again is not an option and that the pregnancy was their last chance of having a baby genetically related to them. In this case, the grief is not just connected with the loss of the child, but there is a wider feeling of loss involved.

What should I do before I return to work, after a miscarriage?

It is advisable to give yourself some time to recover emotionally and physically, before returning to work. Processing your emotions is important for your longer-term mental health and well-being. You can get support from your GP and/or a counsellor. A range of organisations such as The Miscarriage Association, Tommy’s, Saying Goodbye and Relate, can also offer support. The websites for these organisations can be found in the ‘References’ section, at the end of this post.

Informing your employer will make them aware of your loss and potentially more understanding, if you struggle on returning to work. This is important in the short-term and longer-term, as you may find that your grief comes in waves and it may be triggered by a colleague bringing their new baby into work, or someone announcing their pregnancy.  

Am I entitled to maternity leave or maternity pay, after a miscarriage?

There is no entitlement to maternity pay after a miscarriage. Time off afterwards can be classed as pregnancy-related sick leave, with a note from the doctor to confirm this. An understanding employer may allow compassionate leave, or time off without pay, for a male or female employee who has experienced miscarriage.

Are there laws in place to protect me from experiencing discrimination after a miscarriage?

An article from the charity Tommy’s states:

‘The Equality Act 2010 protects people against discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy or pregnancy-related sickness. It covers a period of 2 weeks from the end of a pregnancy for women who are not entitled to maternity leave.

  • The Equality Act protects you during this period from being discriminated against for any sick leave you take because of a miscarriage.
  • If you are discriminated against after this period, you can make a claim for sex discrimination. You will need to show that you have been treated less favourably than a man who has taken sick leave.’

 

Sick leave related to pregnancy or miscarriage must be recorded separately by an employer and cannot be used as a trigger for disciplinary action or redundancy.  

At what point is losing a baby referred to as a stillbirth, instead of a miscarriage?

Losing a baby between 3 months and 24 weeks, is referred to as a late miscarriage, rather than a stillbirth, even if the woman gives birth to the baby.

This is because, after 24 weeks, the legal viewpoint is that the baby could have had a good chance of surviving, so the loss is referred to as a stillbirth.

Your rights after a stillbirth are very different from your rights after a miscarriage.

 

Here at The IVF Network, we understand how traumatic miscarriage can be for anyone going through it. We also understand that miscarriage after IVF may feel even more devastating, after experiencing the emotionally and physically challenging process of IVF, being given the hope of a positive pregnancy test and then having to deal with the grief and loss.

We support equality for everyone going through fertility issues and treatment. We keep up-to-date with medical developments and social changes, the new laws and the support available. We provide a wide range of information, in an easy-to-access form, through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog posts, to help you to make informed choices at every stage of your personal fertility journey.

We believe that education is the key to supporting both employees and employers. To increase awareness in the corporate world, we work with companies, to help them to create or improve their fertility policies. We also support them with implementation, offering workshops for line managers and employees, to increase their understanding of the impact of fertility treatment within our diverse community. Together, we can make a difference.

References

‘Going back to work after a miscarriage’

https://www.tommys.org/baby-loss-support/miscarriage-information-and-support/going-back-work-after-miscarriage

 

The Miscarriage Association

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

 

Saying Goodbye

https://www.sayinggoodbye.org

 

Relate

https://www.relate.org.uk