Problems from a pregnancy that ends early
Some midwives do not want to care for women after unsafe abortions
because they believe that abortion is wrong. But caring for a woman who is in
danger after an unsafe abortion is not the same as doing an abortion. After an
a woman may die
At first I did not
if she does not get
help. When women
are sick, for any
must help them.
want to help women
who were sick from
But if I had not
helped them, they
would have died!
I do not agree with
abortion, but I am a
midwife, and I will help
any woman who is
suffering or in danger.
Emotional support after a pregnancy ends
Women who have had miscarriages or abortions may feel afraid, sad, or upset —
especially if they have health problems that are caused by the miscarriage or
abortion. This emotional pain is just as important as the pain
women have in their bodies. You can help a woman with her
emotional pain before, during, and after caring for her medical
When a woman has a miscarriage, she may be very disappointed that her
pregnancy ended. She may feel guilty — and wrongly think that the miscarriage
was her own fault. See page 91 for more information on what can cause
miscarriages and how to care for and support a woman after a miscarriage.
Usually, a woman who is having serious health problems because of an
abortion did not get good care. An abortion provider who did not do a safe
abortion may have also been disrespectful or unkind. The abortion may have been
very painful or frightening for the woman. When abortion is illegal, a woman
may be afraid of being punished. Be sure to give these women extra care.
Midwives can help a woman with emotional pain
• Explain what is causing the illness or bleeding.
• Explain what you are doing to help.
• If she does not want to become pregnant again,
help her choose a family planning method that is right
for her (see Chapter 17).
Listen and give support
• A sk her if she wants to talk about how she feels.
She may not tell you unless you ask.
• Listen to her if she wants to talk or cry.
• R eassure her the way you would reassure a loved one
A Book for Midwives (2010)