*Content warning: pregnancy loss*
Miscarriages are, heartbreakingly, not uncommon, as 1 in 8 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. What’s less common, though, is open dialogue around the trauma of experiencing a miscarriage, despite the fact that there’s evidence to suggest that raising awareness of the psychological impact of miscarriage is important for supporting those experiencing baby loss.
Whilst there are many reasons someone may choose not to discuss a miscarriage, we can’t ignore the harmfulness of the implied 12-week rule, where pregnancies are encouraged to be kept under wraps in case the worst happens. The problem is, when the worst does happen, the to-be parents are left to navigate their grief alone. This is only exacerbated by the feelings of shame and guilt many experience after losing a baby.
Someone who knows the importance of speaking up about miscarriage grief is singer Jessie J. In November last year, she shared the devastating news that she had suffered a miscarriage in a raw Instagram post. And, yesterday, exactly a year since she was told her baby 'no longer had a heartbeat' she took to Instagram again, candidly sharing that she’s still, understandably, grieving the loss.
'A year ago today I was told my baby no longer had a heartbeat. Although I can tell the story now without crying, have and still am discovering all the positives that experience gave me. Strength. Wisdom. Empathy. Gratitude,’ she wrote in an Instagram Story.
'It still hurts and all day I have just been thinking about all the women and men and families who have been through this numerous times and how incredibly strong they are. Grief is such a weird journey. Time helps but it never truly fades.’
She signed off with a message to others navigating baby loss, and with one to her baby, too. ‘Sending love and strength to anyone’s heart that has or is experiencing this right now. And to my little angel baby. I feel you everywhere. Especially today.'
In an Instagram post from last year, shortly after receiving the news of her miscarriage, Jessie wrote ‘I truly now understand why women so often talk about the want and need for miscarriage to be openly spoken about more.
‘As I have learnt now that what people know of miscarriage to be (including myself before this past 2 weeks) unless you have personally experienced it. What people think it is, is in fact not a true reflection of what it really is at all. How can people support when they don’t know?’
She went on to say: ‘I have never experienced physical pain and trauma or felt loneliness like it.’
Our thoughts are with Jessie and everyone navigating the grief of baby loss.
If you need confidential support and information on miscarriage and pregnancy loss, the Miscarriage Association has a staffed helpline available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm - 01924 200799
If you need support at any other time, you can contact the Samaritans free 24 hour helpline on 116 123
Your calls and emails to these services are completely confidential.
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