Encouraging more conversations and breaking the taboo.
Sadly, miscarriage is the most common kind of pregnancy loss, affecting around one in four pregnancies (source: Miscarriage Association). Though as common as it is, there is still a taboo around the subject that can leave women feeling alone and blaming themselves during one of the most devastating times in their lives.
I am one of those 1 in 4 who have suffered a miscarriage, and I have made it my mission to encourage more conversations and to break the taboo around miscarriage. I believe it is so important that we do this because talking about your experience and listening to the experiences of those around you, can really help you in getting through the grieving process and to feel less alone. For me, I was surprised by how many people very close to me had also had a miscarriage and being able to speak to them about it, allowed me to untangle some of the mixed emotions I was feeling and to deal with them in my own way.
I think the reason there is a taboo around miscarriage is because there is a fear of judgement as well as feelings of guilt. Often as women who have experienced a loss, we can feel at somewhat to blame and question everything that we could have done differently to prevent it from happening. We are in such a fragile state that we can sometimes feel scared of opening up and talking about it because of the emotions it may bring. However, I can honestly say that speaking about our experience together as a couple, as well as with our loved ones, has been part of the healing process and we are so grateful of the support we had from family and friends we confided in.
As well as encouraging more conversations and working to break the taboo together, I feel that it is crucial, more now than ever, that more support and advice is provided for those who have suffered a miscarriage, as well as for pregnancy after loss. After my miscarriage, I felt lost, empty, and numb so my head was a mess, and I couldn’t think of what to ask and so I think having that information readily available is a must. It should be focused at parents – dads just as much as mums too.
In terms of pregnancy after loss, I think anyone who has suffered a loss, regardless of what stage, will be feeling very worried and anxious during any pregnancy after their loss. We lost our first baby and when we fell pregnant again, I was full of anxiety throughout most of my pregnancy with it only easing a little after 20 weeks. I was on edge the whole time and constantly worried that something was going to happen, and we would lose our baby. Although I tried my best to have an enjoyable pregnancy, there was always this feeling of anxiety with me every day.
To help with this anxiety, I started pregnancy yoga with Lis at Prana Mama Yoga from 12 weeks right through until 37 weeks and those weekly classes really helped me to relax, to sleep better, to connect with my baby and to switch off from the anxiety a little. I also read a lot, listened to podcasts, did some journaling, and tried to focus my energy on having a positive birth experience by learning about hypnobirthing.
To break down the taboo that surrounds miscarriage, we need to speak up and raise awareness and encourage each other to have more conversations openly. Of course, it is a difficult and sore subject – it is loss and it is grief, but it is also love and healing, and being able to speak about it, confine in each other, support one another and share experiences, is so important in helping us through this heartbreaking time.
For anyone reading this who has gone through baby loss, I would encourage you to confide in someone. My inbox is open for anyone who needs someone to speak to.