We’ve talked about miscarriage a lot on ForEveryMom this year. Whether it be Carrie Underwood opening up about the three miscarriages she suffered in 2017, or even men like James Van Der Beek weighing in on the heartache and grief that comes with the loss of a baby.
And let’s not soon forget the viral video of Olympian Shawn East Johnson and her husband Andrew East sharing the raw and heartbreaking aftermath of suffering from miscarriage.
Experts say 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
But for decades, couples have [hidden] behind the shame of miscarriage as if it could have been prevented, or they did something wrong to lose the baby. But we want to erase that stigma.
Traditionally, people have waited until after about 12 weeks to announce their pregnancy, with the hope that any significant chance for miscarriage would have passed.
But as 2019 presses on, a trend we have seen repeatedly is more and more women announcing their pregnancy early, despite the fact that they may later also have to announce their miscarriage.
After learning she was pregnant with her first child last year, Katie Rollins shared the news on social media.
“Right when we found out, so at five weeks,” Katie told TODAY Parents. “We had been trying for a year, so we got excited and didn’t wait to tell people.”
Not long after their big announcement, Katie also learned that she and her husband were expecting a baby girl. They did a live gender-reveal video celebrating their daughter-to-be.
But shortly after that, Katie suffered a miscarriage.
“I wish I didn’t tell the world, because having to tell the world she’s gone now makes it feel a thousand times worse,” she wrote on Facebook last November. “But here we are, this is part of it too. I love and appreciate the support and am not ready to talk about it but thank you for being there.”
In the weeks that followed, more than 300 people commented on Katie’s post offering up incredible support and giving her comfort in a heartbreaking process.
“The … incredible thing that came out of having a miscarriage was realizing how many other people were in my corner who went through that minefield before me and shared so that I did not feel alone,” she wrote in a post several weeks later.
Just last month, thousands followed along with Hilaria Baldwin as she publicly suffered a miscarriage. The podcaster, mother of four and wife to actor Alec Baldwin posted about her miscarriage in real time — literally as it was happening.
View this post on Instagram
There was no heartbeat today at my scan…so it’s over…but I have some pretty strong and amazing heartbeats right here. I am surrounded by such love and I feel so fortunate. Thank you all for listening, for your support, and for sharing your own personal stories. We are stronger together…I hope this conversation continues to grow and that we stick together through both the beautiful and challenging moments in life. Much love and appreciation to all of you 💜
Talk about shattering some stigmas.
“I want to share with you that I am most likely experiencing a miscarriage,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I always promised myself that if I were to get pregnant again, I would share the news with you guys pretty early, even if that means suffering a public loss. I have always been so open with you all about my family, fitness, pregnancies…and I don’t want to keep this from you, just because it isn’t as positive and shiny as the rest. I think it’s important to show the truth…because my job is to help people by being real and open. Furthermore, I have no shame or embarrassment with this experience. I want to be a part of the effort to normalize miscarriage and remove the stigma from it. There is so much secrecy during the first trimester. This works for some, but I personally find it to be exhausting. I’m nauseous, tired, my body is changing. And I have to pretend that everything is just fine—and it truly isn’t. I don’t want to have to pretend anymore. I hope you understand.”
She went on to explain that the next steps were only just to wait on her body to do what it does, adding that she is grateful for the village of support she has in family, friends, followers, and doctors.
“I’m hoping, that by sharing this, I can contribute to raising awareness about this sensitive topic.”
Experts say that the growing use of social media has helped to normalize the stigma around miscarriage and loss, as it’s cultivating a community of supportive individuals rather than allowing shame to manifest in the silence and isolation.
Gabrielle Birkner, co-author of the book, “Modern Loss,” says that women who are ditching the 12-week wait rule are essentially building a potential support network.
After all, it takes a village.
“They’re saying, ‘The same people I want with me in my joy, I also want them with me through any potential pain.’”