Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, perhaps particularly so if you are far from your traditional support system. Fortunately, there are many resources easily accessible from Amsterdam to help you navigate your way through this painful experience.
Chances are that if you are reading this, you, or someone close to you, has been affected by miscarriage. At Amsterdam Mamas, we too have been touched by pregnancy loss – perhaps through loved ones, perhaps through personal experience. This is why we have wanted for some time now to provide our community with a guide to miscarriage support resources. Some of the resources are specific to Amsterdam, some are specific to The Netherlands (and are in Dutch), and some are international or online organisations or support resources.
This article does not explore or offer resources for fertility or stillbirth – these equally important topics will be covered separately at a future date. Also, for the purposes of this piece, we have defined miscarriage as a pregnancy that ends before the 24th week. We hope that the resources gathered here will be of service. You are warmly encouraged to post anything you feel safe sharing in the main Amsterdam Mamas group. Miscarriage is painful and sad, but it is not taboo or stigmatised, and many people find sharing their feelings and experiences helpful. We wish you well as you walk the path towards healing after your loss.
Miscarriage – Why? What Do I Do?
Unfortunately, one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. The cause of a miscarriage often remains unknown, but if it occurs during the first trimester it is generally believed to be a result of problems with the foetus, such as a chromosomal abnormality. This is unlikely to occur again, and does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the parents’ chromosomes.
When a miscarriage happens during the second trimester (between weeks 14 and 26), it is thought to be the result of an infection, a long-term health problem in the mother, food poisoning, or a problem with the womb or the cervix. Unfortunately, sometimes these problems can become recurrent. Should a woman experience recurrent miscarriages (three or more in a row), then she will probably be referred to a specialist for relevant investigations. About 1 in 100 women experience recurrent miscarriages, and happily more than 60% of these women go on to have a successful pregnancy.
Here in the Netherlands, the common clinical guidance for miscarriage is to allow the body to resolve the end of the pregnancy itself. The body usually knows exactly what to do, and the longer term healing outcomes (after a naturally occurring miscarriage) are better than those following a Dilation and Curettage (D&C). During the process, the body and mind may well need an extra bit of support either through some bodywork such as massage, acupressure or acupuncture, or perhaps through coaching and/or emotional release. If, even after a little time or bodywork, the body doesn’t release the pregnancy some extra clinical support may be necessary – one option may be pharmaceutical support, another may be a Dilation and Curettage.
If you need help in the daytime, firstly seek advice and guidance from your verloskundige (midwife) or huisarts (general practitioner), either of whom may refer you directly to the gynaecology department at the nearest hospital, or the hospital supervising your pregnancy. If you need attention during out-of-office hours, you will need to call, and then visit the Huisartsenpost (out-of-hours general practioner service).
All hospitals in Amsterdam are able to treat to you if you think you are having a miscarriage or associated issues, and feel that you need urgent medical assistance (if your symptoms include extreme pain, and/or severe blood loss, or you are unable to contact your verloskundige or huisarts).
Sands (this group also covers stillbirth support)
Freya (this group also covers fertility issues)
In Person Support and Consultation
Gloria de Gast, An Arvigo Therapist (Gloria may refer you to another locally based Arivgo practioner)
Martine Cornelissen: Acupuncturist /Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Corinne Laan: Acupuncturist/Traditional Chinese Medicine Practioner/Childbirth Educator –- Corinne also founded "Sacred Loss’" as part of the "Sacred Living" movement and offers private sessions to process the grief and healing after a miscarriage
Doulas Who Offer Miscarriage Support
Joyce Hoek Pula: Doula and Massage Therapist
Ilena J Standring: Doula & Coach
After growing up in the glorious hills of Yorkshire (UK), Ilena has enjoyed living in the flat landscape of NL for nearly 12 years. Following 6 years in the corporate world, she chose to fulfil her heart’s calling and became a life and career coach in 2012, then at the end of 2013 became a doula. These skill sets dovetailed in 2014 when Ilena chose to specialise in supporting women who have experienced trauma throughout conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum parenting; empowering them to go from simply surviving to thoroughly thriving through life’s challenges. She is a proud mummy to a blue-eyed boy and a brown-eyed English bulldog.