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‘I Had A Miscarriage’ is the Instagram account aiming to combat taboo around pregnancy loss

I Had A Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common kind of pregnancy loss, affecting around one in four pregnancies – and yet, despite this, it’s a painful subject that remains shrouded in silence. 

As well as the obvious grief of losing a child, research has proven that the psychological impact of miscarriage can be so severe that many women experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

These symptoms can include feelings of isolation and guilt, which can continue to get worse without a support network and the opportunity to speak openly about the trauma endured.

In a bid to break the taboo, a psychologist is now using Instagram to help women speak openly about pregnancy loss, as well as share their stories using the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage.

 


Read more: “What going public with my five miscarriages has taught me about grief”


Jessica Zucker created the account after suffering a miscarriage herself at 16 weeks when she was pregnant with her second child. Identifying with feelings of isolation, the mother-of-two sought to create a community and support network for other women that had been through the same thing as her.

She began by writing about her own experience on social media using the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage, before inviting others to do the same. 

Speaking to Self, Zucker explained that women often take on unjustified feelings of guilt and self-blame after pregnancy loss – a fact which desperately needs to be addressed.

“My personal experience was a way to model for other women around the world that there is absolutely no shame in loss,” she said.

Zucker continued: “The research overwhelmingly points to women experiencing shame, self-blame and guilt following pregnancy and loss. I had to really think it through.

“As a psychologist, you don’t typically share the details of your life. But [pregnancy loss] doesn’t mean anything about who you are, or your body being a failure.”


Read more:  “There are many reasons why women don’t have children”: Nicola Sturgeon aims to break “taboo” of miscarriage


The Instagram page now has over 12k followers – and the feed is filled with emotionally raw stories from mothers that have been through a miscarriage. These accounts come in many different forms, such as poems, short stories, quotes and open letters. 

 

@translucentdreamm shares: "23 was a year of firsts for me. I would have been 15 weeks along if my little one decided to stay with me. I didn't know anything about miscarriages before my loss. It's not really something the average woman researches. So when #ihadamiscarriage I was so beside myself, confused, and in shock. I felt like the only one on earth at that time. I was angry with my body for failing me. I was even ashamed, and felt like I couldn't open up and talk about what happened. Almost as if I did something wrong. Even now it's hard to share this, even with all the acceptance and strength that I've built along the way. It's a hard battle to overcome. Not one day goes by without me thinking about that Saturday in April. Not one day goes by without me yearning and missing the feeling of beauty that I had when I was carrying my little one inside me. The thought that my body created a tiny human that was part me and part my lover was more beauty than I had ever felt in my 23 years. All of that vanishing is hard to swallow. It leaves you in a state of disparity. Today I am sharing my story and writing this in hopes to reach all the women who feel alone and misunderstood in their loss. I am sharing this to end the self-blame and the shame that comes along with it. You are not alone, I am here and so are millions of women that have been and are going through this. I don't want anyone to ever feel like they don't have someone to reach out to. You are strong, and your feelings are valid and you are capable and beautiful. I love you all. We will overcome and heal together✨💕 " _ #IHadAMiscarriage #endthesilence #1in4 #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #grief #loss

A post shared by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. (@ihadamiscarriage) on

A powerful post from Zucker herself has reiterated why sharing these stories are so important, noting: “In hearing stories of pregnancy and baby loss, we are struck by how many people grieve on their own.”

The mother aims to make pregnancy loss “a global conversation”, writing: “We must forge a new reality in which pregnancy loss is part of a global conversation.

“With dedicated effort to support the bereaved and an openness that acknowledges death as a part of life, we can create a society that supports women in pregnancy, and their partners, no matter the outcome.”

 

# IHadAMiscarriage I had a 2nd trimester miscarriage. This is a fact of my life. An experience that changed who I am. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss changed me all the more. I have no shame. No self-blame. No guilt. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing to deserve this. My body works. I don't feel it failed. I embrace my grief fully and allow it to wash over me. I grieve still. I don't believe rainbow babies "replace" our lost loves. When we lean into heartache, we evolve. When we work vigorously to stave it off, we drown. I don't believe everything happens for a reason. I know I am not alone, nor are you. _ This campaign is here for anyone who has experienced any type of pregnancy or infant loss. We are here to share stories with the aim of softening stigma and ushering in connection. Let this space be a life line. An anchor. A community. _ What an elating honor it is to have my work and specifically this page featured on @selfmagazine today. Link in profile. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #stillbirth #infantloss #motherhood #grief #loss #parenthood #pregnancyafterloss #rainbowbaby #1in4 // This sign accompanied the birth of the I Had A Miscarriage campaign in 2014. Lettering by @annerobincallig.

A post shared by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. (@ihadamiscarriage) on

As an issue that effects millions of women world-wide it’s crucial that communities like this continue to grow so that we can support each other and irradiate the isolation that is typical of this situation.

If you had suffered a miscarriage and would like to be part of the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign, you can share your story by using the hashtag or messaging the I Had A Miscarriage account.

Images: IHadAMiscarriage/ Fucci

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