Around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, with 85% of those happening in the first trimester (weeks 1 to 12).
Many of us, sadly, know someone who has experienced a miscarriage. A friend, a family member, or maybe even yourself?
Around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, with 85% of those happening in the first trimester (weeks 1 to 12). A 'late' miscarriage, which is much less common, may occur between weeks 13 to 24 of pregnancy.
And because of this, most women
don’t announce their pregnancy to the world or even to their loved ones until the 12-week “safe” mark. But, are we doing women a disservice by not talking more openly about miscarriage?
With most miscarriages happening before women have told their support network, are we making it so women end up suffering alone and in silence when they do lose a baby. In turn, does this silence attribute to a feeling of “shame”?
I experienced a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I felt shame. I felt it was my fault, how could I not? It was my body supposed to nurture this growing baby. What would have helped I see now, is support. Friends and family assuring me that is was not my fault.
Of course, it wasn’t my fault. It’s never the women’s fault. Just one of those things, unfortunately. One of those things that is a lot more common than we realise but nobody really talks about. That needs to change.
One strong woman that agrees is Cocoa Brown Tan and Carter Beauty founder, Marissa Carter. The entrepreneur appeared on RTÉ’s Cutting Edge where she opened up to viewers about her heart-breaking experiences.
The mum suffered three miscarriages and said that she wants society to be more open and honest about the issue.
Marissa expressed her desire for a society much more open to discussing the difficult issue in support of the Miscarriage Association in the UK who have recently launched a set of special greeting cards to mark pregnancy loss.
The cards, which have all been handwritten, hope to ease the pain of those experiencing pregnancy loss, or help friends or family who want to reach out.
Each of the cards' messages was approved by a team of women and men who have experience of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy.
One of the cards reads: "This is totally ****. So here's a hug in an envelope. A folded squeeze, from me to you." Another says: "There's no good card for this. I'm sorry for your loss."
Others read: "I wish this wasn't happening to you. I don't know what to say. But I promise I'm here for you," and "This is the worst. But I've got your back. And your front. And everything in between."
The Carter beauty founder told Brendan O’Connor about the pain she suffered upon losing her babies at six weeks, nine weeks and thirteen weeks.
‘I think the cards are a step the right direction towards being more open as a society to discussing miscarriage and women being able to talk about it and dare I say; maybe even tell people they are pregnant before the
twelve weeks, before that “safe period” ends,’ she said.
The mum-of-two shared her thoughts on women being discouraged to share news of their pregnancy until the twelve week mark and the silent suffering she endured as a result of the secrecy surrounding those early weeks of pregnancy.
‘I’ve had three miscarriages, one was at six weeks and one was nine weeks and one was at thirteen weeks,’ Marissa explained.
‘For two of those miscarriages I hadn’t told anyone and I was lying to my friends about why I was so upset and making up excuses as to why I was off work.’
‘You hear people say ‘Oh at least you’re only six weeks or at least you were only nine weeks, at least you weren’t five months pregnant and then it happened’ and that really cut me, it really hurt me because as soon as I saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test, that’s when I started planning where the crib would go, planning where I was going to put the changing table, thinking of names, thinking whether it would be a boy or a girl.’
‘That’s when I started to feel like I was going to be a mother so for someone to say ‘at least you were only six weeks,’ that really hurt.’
‘Any sort of judgement or fear that you feel when you miscarry is definitely magnified by the silence,’ she said.
People came out in the hundreds on social media agreeing with the Cocoa Brown beauty.
“Great discussion on miscarriages on RTÉ Cutting Edge tonight, @CarterMarissa spoke so well about her experiences, no matter how early it happens it is a real and sad experience “
“Business woman @CarterMarissa speaking very eloquently on @CuttingEdgeRTE about the silence many women feel forced to endure when they miscarry”
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.