The Pregnancy Loss Research Network

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Why is the Pregnancy Loss Research Network needed?

In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth. It is not only common, but it can also be intensely painful and traumatic for women and their families.

Support during and after pregnancy loss, particularly for miscarriage is lacking, with many parents often left feeling abandoned, a view echoed in our public engagement group ‘In Our Shoes’. Available support varies within regions and there is currently no national provision. Underserved communities are at increased risk of pregnancy loss and have poorer mental health outcomes, yet they face additional barriers when accessing the support that they may need. There is currently poor understanding as to why some women and/or partners do not access support, which is particularly important given that pregnancy loss can be isolating, socially stigmatized and difficult to discuss with others.

More research is needed to ensure support for parents is effective and targeted appropriately, as interventions are likely to impact different (sub)populations in different ways. When dealing with pregnancy loss, health care professionals often fail to consider the physical, social, and emotional impact of the loss.

What do we do?

The Pregnancy Loss Research Network was launched in 2022 by a team of researchers at the University of Bedfordshire, with the aim to bring together researchers, parents with lived experience of pregnancy loss, charities, organisations, and stakeholders to raise awareness and improve care and support for those impacted by pregnancy loss.

Research began with a project called ‘In Our Shoes’, which brought together 13 women who had experienced miscarriage to form a public engagement group. Together we identified the key problems and needs for parents who experience miscarriage and considered possible strategies to improve outcomes. One of our key objectives of the pregnancy loss network is to ensure that our work is shared widely, as we hope to create real impact and encourage change. The findings of this work were presented in September 2023 at the 43rd Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology (SRIP) International Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.

We are particularly interested in the research of early pregnancy loss and miscarriage; however, we feel that loss whenever it occurs is significant and there will be elements of our work that span across all types of loss. Moving forwards we hope to continue to grow our research network, bringing together academics, parents, local authority, NHS partners, commissioners, employers and third sector charities. If you would be interested in getting involved please register here to join the pregnancy loss research network or email

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