As if losing a baby weren’t devastating enough, too many women who suffer miscarriages feel they can’t talk about what has happened to them. Whether you’re an low-profile woman or a high-profile celebrity, the stigma around miscarrying is very real.
Which is what one social media hashtag, #ihadamiscarriage, is hoping to change.
Jessica Zucker, a psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health, based in Los Angeles, thought up #ihadamiscarriage after miscarrying at 16 weeks with her second child.
After her loss, she began to tell her story through a series of essays, to which she added the hashtag.
In 2015, she then went on to create a new Instagram account IHadAMiscarriage, which invites women to tell their own stories of lost pregnancies.
Zucker’s first pregnancy went smoothly, but her second pregnancy ended in a traumatic miscarriage in her second trimester. After 16 weeks, she started spotting, and went into labor. She delivered at home alone, and began hemorrhaging, at which point her husband returned home and rushed her to the hospital to remove the placenta and remnants of the pregnancy.
“Two hours later I went back to my house and was no longer pregnant,” Zucker told Self. “That was pretty much the most profound thing that ever happened in my life. The most traumatic.”
Zucker’s story is one of millions, and each touching story posted to the account reveals just how different each woman’s experience is, but simultaneously how bonded the women are.
“My personal experience was a way to model for other women around the world that there is absolutely no shame in loss,” Zucker said.
She says she hopes that the Instagram account and hashtag will help women understand there is no shame in miscarrying or in talking about it.
“By putting it out there in the world and sharing it with women globally, people then feel this sense of recognition and a robust community,” she said. “I don’t have to know you, because it’s social media, but I know those feelings so well.”
Zucker continued, “In so many comments or messages, people say, ‘I could have written this myself.’ Part of the point is to really show that we’re more similar than we think.”
Check out the account here.
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