NumberRecommendation
1Treat all women with early pregnancy complications with dignity and respect. Be aware that women will react to complications or the loss of a pregnancy in different ways. Provide all women with information and support in a sensitive manner, taking into account their individual circumstances and emotional response.*
2Healthcare professionals providing care for women with early pregnancy complications in any setting should be aware that early pregnancy complications can cause significant distress for some women and their partners. Healthcare professionals providing care for these women should be given training in how to communicate sensitively and breaking bad news. Non-clinical staff such as receptionists working in settings where early pregnancy care is provided should also be given training on how to communicate sensitively with women who experience early pregnancy complications.
3Throughout a woman's care, give her and (with agreement) her partner specific evidence-based information in a variety of formats. This should include (as appropriate):
  • When and how to seek help if existing symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop, including a 24-hour contact telephone number.
  • What to expect during the time she is waiting for an ultrasound scan.
  • What to expect during the course of her care (including expectant management), such as the potential length and extent of pain and/or bleeding, and possible side effects. This information should be tailored to the care she receives.
  • Information about post-operative care (for women undergoing surgery).
  • What to expect during the recovery period – for example, when it is possible to resume sexual activity and/or try to conceive again, and what to do if she becomes pregnant again. This information should be tailored to the care she receives.
  • Information about the likely impact of her treatment on future fertility.
  • Where to access support and counselling services, including leaflets, web addresses and helpline numbers for support organisations.
Ensure that sufficient time is available to discuss these issues with women during the course of their care and arrange an additional appointment if more time is needed.
4After an early pregnancy loss, offer the woman the option of a follow-up appointment with a healthcare professional of her choice.
*

For further guidance about providing information, see Patient experience in adult NHS services (NICE clinical guidance 138)

For further guidance about providing information, see Patient experience in adult NHS services (NICE clinical guidance 138)

From: 4, Emotional support and information giving

Cover of Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage
Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage: Diagnosis and Initial Management in Early Pregnancy of Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 154.
National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK).
London: RCOG; 2012 Dec.
Copyright © 2012, National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health.

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