One in six women who fall pregnant will suffer a miscarriage up to 24 weeks and one in 100 will endure traumatic recurrent infant loss. Yet despite the frequency, miscarriage is still very much a taboo subject. Shrouded in silence and even shame; women are left alone with the emptiness, unable to feel they can voice their stories and share their pain in a world that turns a blind eye. It’s common practice amongst women to not even share the news of pregnancy until at least 12 weeks due to the fear of loss.
Research surrounding miscarriage has shown that as well as the obvious grief that comes from losing a child, there is also a great psychological impact caused by infant loss that if left untreated can be so severe it can manifest itself as trauma akin to post-traumatic stress disorder.
We know that isolation and guilt, wreak havoc on our bodies, our minds and our lives and when left alone will continue to fester and manifest into deep, dark depressions and psychological disorders. We also know that the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about trauma endured is the key to a successful recovery. Yet when the subject of miscarriage is brought up we shy away from the truths and diminish the hurt involved.
In a bid to break this heartbreaking taboo, psychologist Jessica Zucker has turned to the world of social media in an attempt to change perceptions and allow women the chance to open up about pregnancy loss by sharing their stories using the #IHadAMiscarriage. Zucker created the Instagram account after suffering a miscarriage herself while carrying her second child. Identifying with feelings of isolation she sought to create a community and network that could aid other women. By using the hashtag and speaking candidly Zuker has garnered an impressive following of 15K to date.
The feed is an outpouring of raw emotions and uncensored stories from mothers that have suffered through a miscarriage. Quotes, artistic expression, poems and open letters tell each woman’s story and act as a kind of therapy for those who feel they have no place to share theirs.
The page aims to forge a new reality in which pregnancy loss is part of a global conversation. Zucker writes: “with dedicated effort to support the bereaved and an openness that acknowledges death as a part of life, we can create a society that supports women in pregnancy, and their partners, no matter the outcome.” And with miscarriage affecting millions of women the world over it has never been more crucial that communities like this continue to grow and earn support, so that we in turn can learn to support each other and eradicate the isolation that surrounds infant loss.
If you, or anyone you know has suffered a miscarriage and you want to help break the stigma attached then share your story using #IHadAMiscarriage and become a part of a campaign for change.