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‘Recurrent miscarriage takes a terrible toll – it was only at 24 weeks, when I knew the pregnancy was viable, that I started to enjoy it’

Ann-Marie Herbert suffered multiple miscarriages before being taken under the care of Dr Cathy Allen at a special unit at the National Maternity Hospital. She tells us how difficult it was for her and her partner going through the pain of the losses and the joy brought by their two miracle babies

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Ann-Marie Herbert with one of her children. Photo: Tony Gavin.

Ann-Marie Herbert with one of her children. Photo: Tony Gavin.

Ann-Marie Herbert with one of her children. Photo: Tony Gavin.

An estimated one in four known pregnancies end in miscarriage. For up to 3pc of women, however, the devastating loss of a wanted baby is compounded by numerous subsequent losses, often unexplained. “It’s such a complex predicament, so deeply personal yet such a profound human experience,” says Dr Cathy Allen, consultant in charge of the recurring miscarriage service at the National Maternity Hospital.

It can be a major challenge for patients, as well as those of us looking after them. It’s extremely frustrating; there’s this information gap that hovers over what might happen in future pregnancies. There’s an expectation that when a person who has been through repeated losses gets pregnant, they should be happy and everything is cured, but I think it’s unfair to everybody not to recognise the heightened anxiety, which can lead to stress and depression. It’s a complex adjustment, it’s often very hard to believe there’ll be a successful outcome,” Dr Allen adds.


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