Binky Felstead praised by charities for helping to break the taboo surrounding miscarriage
Binky Felstead has opened up about the miscarriage she experienced when she was almost 12 weeks pregnant.
The former Made in Chelsea star explained she had “thought long and hard” about whether or not to speak publicly about the loss.
“But I felt that if I can pass on any warmth, comfort or help to anybody in the same position – well that would be great,” she wrote in an Instagram caption alongside a scenic image of a field at sunset, posted on Monday .
Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association told Yahoo UK that the charity “greatly appreciates” Binky’s decision to share her experience
“It can help so much when someone in the public eye opens up in this way and Binky’s warm and thoughtful words for others will not only break taboos but also make others who’ve been through this themselves know that they are not alone,” Atik said.
Read more: TV presenter Anita Rami says discussing miscarriages is ‘such a taboo’
Felstead, 30, has a three-year-old daughter, India, with her ex-boyfriend, Josh Patterson. She had been expecting her first child with her fiancé, Max Darnton, whom she has been dating for a little over a year and a half.
“Today would have been my 18 week mark, but sadly we had an early miscarriage just before 12 weeks,” she explained in the Instagram post.
“Not only was this heartbreaking for us, but it also came as such a shock to me.”
I’ve thought long and hard about doing this post, but I felt that if I can pass on any warmth, comfort or help to anybody in the same position - well that would be great. It’s only fair that I share some of my “downs” as well as my “up” moments. Today would have been my 18 week mark, but sadly we had an early miscarriage just before 12 weeks. Not only was this heartbreaking for us, but it also came as such a shock to me. I hadn’t realised until then how blessed I was with having such a relatively straight forward pregnancy with India - I’ll admit I was naive enough to assume the next one would be as straightforward, but I had two early scans as I was concerned I was bleeding. They found a ‘very strong’ heartbeat. However, on the third scan I was told ‘I’m afraid there’s no heartbeat’. I was told by my doctor that 1 in 4 pregnancies miscarry (not that statistics make it any easier!) With 82% of my following being women - that means roughly 237,800 women “following” me could (or have) experienced the same, which is just so sad. When speaking to a few close friends about our situation, we learned that some of them too have had miscarriages in the past. I asked them why they’ve never said anything, and they just said they felt they couldn't, or shouldn’t talk about it. Almost like it’s a taboo subject, which is heartbreaking. If you have been through this, I hope you are giving yourself time to mentally and physically heal and do what you need. I keep reminding myself that there was nothing I could have done, and perhaps this was nature’s way of saying that for whatever reason, this little soul wasn’t ready for the world. Sending so so much love 🤍🙏🏼 I later learned that @miscarriageassociation is available to help anyone who has/is experiencing this. It’s a national charity that provides support and information for anyone who’s affected by miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, this includes both women and men. You can call their helpline or talk to them on live chat or even message them on Instagram, and they will do whatever they can to help you through. See www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk #babylossawarenessweek
A post shared by BINKY FELSTEAD (@binkyfelstead) on
Felstead said that because everything had been so smooth-sailing with her previous pregnancy, she felt “naive” in assuming it would be the same this time around. She then went on to discuss how common miscarriages are.
“I was told by my doctor that one in four pregnancies miscarry (not that statistics make it any easier!),” she wrote before working out that, given her 1.4 million Instagram followers, that means roughly 237,800 women following her could also have suffered miscarriages.
Felstead also pointed out that many of her friends had kept quiet about their own losses, possibly because talking about miscarriage remains something of a taboo subject.
“When speaking to a few close friends about our situation, we learned that some of them too have had miscarriages in the past,” she continued.
“I asked them why they’ve never said anything, and they just said they felt they couldn't, or shouldn’t talk about it. Almost like it’s a taboo subject, which is heartbreaking.”
Watch: Chrissy Teigen reveals she managed to laugh for the first time since baby loss
Felstead finished her emotional post by speaking directly to others who have experienced the pain of miscarriage and offering an important reminder to them, and herself.
“I hope you are giving yourself time to mentally and physically heal and do what you need,” she wrote.
“I keep reminding myself that there was nothing I could have done, and perhaps this was nature’s way of saying that for whatever reason, this little soul wasn’t ready for the world.”
Since Felstead shared her heartbreaking post, the comments have been flooded with messages of support for the family, with many thanking the star for opening up about her loss.
“Sending you so much love. I’m sorry you had to go through this. Thank you so much for sharing and helping others feel less alone,” one person wrote.
“Sending all my love to you all, I was the exact same, I should of [sic] been 25 weeks this week and sadly lost our second baby at 13 weeks. It’s such a taboo topic that no one ever speaks about much and I don’t know why,” another added.
“So sorry to hear this but such an important post to raise awareness,” another agreed. “I had an early miscarriage last year at nine weeks and now I am currently cuddling my three-month-old rainbow baby. Don’t lose hope! After every storm comes a beautiful rainbow.”
Read more: James Van Der Beek and wife Kimberly open up about heartbreaking miscarriage
The Miscarriage Association says celebrities discussing their experiences with miscarriage can help to break down the silence surrounding the subject and make others who have been through it feel like they aren’t alone.
“We greatly appreciate Binky’s decision to share her experience, especially during Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 Oct),” said Atik.
“As one of her followers posted last night: ‘Thank you for being so open. You have no idea how many others you will help from this post’.”
Clea Harmer, chief executive at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) also told Yahoo UK that when a celebrity talks openly about pregnancy loss it can have a positive impact.
“Whenever someone in the public eye shares the devastating loss of their baby in pregnancy, at birth or in infancy they are helping other people going through similar experiences to know they are not alone,” she said.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week is an important moment to break the isolation so many people feel when their baby dies and let everyone know about the support that is out there for them and their families. Our thoughts are with all those affected and Sands is always here for anyone whose baby has died, however long ago.”
According to a YouGov survey, more than half (54%) of people have either been personally affected by pregnancy or baby loss, or know someone else who had been through it.
But despite the subject touching so many, there remains a culture of silence surrounding the topic.
This week, in order to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, charities are calling on everyone to to help reduce these feelings of isolation around baby loss, by sharing their experiences and showing their support for those who have experienced the loss of a baby – whether or not they have been directly affected themselves.
Read more: Alanis Morissette talks 'challenges and miscarriages'
Earlier this month, Chrissy Teigen opened up about her own experience of pregnancy loss. The model and cookery writer shared the “deep pain” she was feeling following the death of her unborn baby.
Both Teigen and her husband John Legend were praised for speaking openly and honestly.
Harmer said at the time: “We are so deeply sorry to hear that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s baby Jack has died during pregnancy. Our thoughts are with them and their family at this saddest of times and Sands is here for anyone whose baby has died in pregnancy, at birth or during infancy.
“By sharing this crushing loss so honestly on her social media in the very moment of her overwhelming grief, Chrissy has made an enormous difference for others by helping to break the silence and isolation many people experience after baby loss.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact the Miscarriage Association helpline on 01924 200799 or email the charity at email@example.com. The helpline is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
You can also contact stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands on 0808 164 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and until 9.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.