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Early pregnancy loss program helps patients heal and move forward

YIMC_Nursing Early Pregnancy

Lindsey Davis (left) and fellow team members Samantha Monuk, Dr. Pamela Berger and Dr. Amanda Black from the MVA program were selected to present their quality improvement program during Nursing Professional Development Day on May 10 – part of Nursing Week, May 7 to 13.

Early pregnancy loss – the most common complication in the early months of pregnancy– can be traumatic and have long-lasting effects on a woman and her family. Receiving treatment in the obstetrics unit, surrounded by new moms who have just given birth, can make healing from the loss even more difficult.


That’s why a team from The Ottawa Hospital introduced a program that allows women with early pregnancy loss to receive timely medical treatment in a space just for them, along with support and counselling for their emotional needs as well.


“The emotional needs of women and their families who have experienced early pregnancy loss are important and they’re different than the general obstetrics population,” said RN Lindsey Davis, who works in the Family Planning and MVA programs. “It’s important to address so they can heal and move forward.”


The new outpatient manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) program was introduced at the Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre at the Riverside Campus by RN Lindsey Davis, Dr. Pamela Berger, Dr. Amanda Black, Manager Chantal Menard and RPN Samantha Monuk. They were selected to present their quality improvement program during Nursing Professional Development Day on May 10 – part of Nursing Week, May 7 to 13.


Launched in November 2015, the program offers services two days a week. It addresses both the emotional and medical needs of the women by providing them with the support, counselling and timely treatment they require.


“There’s nothing new in terms of the procedure,” said Davis. “It’s the environment it’s done in that’s key because it’s their own environment where they can feel that their needs are being addressed in a very specific way. Their needs are different than the needs of a mom who has just delivered.”


Dr. Berger said the outpatient program also reduces the amount of time women spend waiting to have the procedure done.


Once a woman has been diagnosed with early pregnancy loss and has chosen MVA, she’ll be contacted with an appointment within two days of the referral. The procedure is then performed in the Minimally Invasive Surgical Suite. Patients are usually able to go home within an hour. Nurses provide ongoing support and ensure the patients are stable.


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Lauren Larson - July 17, 2017


I had an MVA done last week as a result of a silent/missed miscarriage. The nurses, Lindsey and Sam, and Dr. Berger were wonderful. They were knowledgeable, friendly, and answered all of my questions. Most importantly, they made me feel very at ease during the procedure.

When I visited my gynecologist the Friday before my procedure to discuss my options, I knew I wanted a D&C. I was shocked to discover there is a waiting list of a couple of months to have the procedure. That’s when my gynecologist suggested I have the MVA instead. I was a little hesitant at first, but any doubts I had were quickly erased when I met the team. The procedure was quick, easy and relatively painless. As someone who has also experienced a natural miscarriage, this was much easier emotionally and physically. Above all else, I am so thankful I could have the procedure done in a hospital where I wasn’t surrounded by new moms who had recently given birth. I pray I never have to have this procedure done again, but I find comfort in knowing this program exists if I do.

I firmly believe these three women were put on this planet to help women like myself.

Thank you from the Larson Family!

The Ottawa Hospital - July 17, 2017

Hi Lauren,

We are so sorry to hear about what you went through. The fact that you found comfort in the care and compassion that staff here provided means so much to us. Our goal is to ensure that all patients receive the same care and kindness that we would all expect for our loved ones. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope you and your family are doing well!

TOH Communications

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