Miscarriage Matters: The Pink Elephant Support Network’s Fertility In the Workplace Program

Every woman going through a miscarriage deserves access to emotional support. While 1 in 4 pregnancies end in 12 weeks, many women go through miscarriage alone. 

The Pink Elephant Support Network recognises that there is an unmet need in the community around women returning to the workforce after experiencing a miscarriage. Validating the feelings of loss that arise when women go through a miscarriage, is vital to giving them the space to grieve and heal. 

Reaching out for support immediately after the loss of a baby is the best outcome for a woman and her family. After going through a miscarriage, a woman has a higher chance of experiencing post-natal depression. A barrier to accessing support after experiencing a miscarriage is the stigmatisation of losing a child at any stage of a pregnancy and concerns about being seen as a mother that has failed. This has an emotional impact which can last for a long period of time if it remains unaddressed. 

According to Co-Founder Samantha Payne, “Miscarriage is a different type of loss and it is unique because we are still mothers who have lost their babies. From the moment you see those two blue lines on that test, you fall in love with what you have created. It’s a future that you have imagined and this is the difficulty with miscarriage. It’s disenfranchised grief because we don’t have a baby to bury.” 

The Fertility in the Workplace Program aims to give women a chance to grieve the loss of their child while equipping people at all levels of the workforce with the ability to provide emotional support to a woman who has experienced a miscarriage. According to Payne, “Returning to work is a huge milestone and often people in the workplace didn’t know they were pregnant and women might not have told their boss they are trying to have a child. There are things happening in the background and women are going to work on a daily basis.” 

Recognising the loss that women may have gone through during a pregnancy journey and the emotional impact it can have within the workplace, is a foundation for encouraging women to seek support early rather than isolating themselves. It has a lasting impact on a woman’s emotional health and the overall well-being of the workforce, through creating a culture of empathy and a support network beyond their circle of family and friends. 

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