One out of every four women will experience the loss of a baby at some point in their lives. That’s right–25%! Pregnancy/infant loss is an issue that while very common, is rarely talked about. Because it’s become such a “hush-hush” and taboo topic, those who experience it are often left to grieve in silence, alone.
It’s time for things to change.
It’s time to open up the conversation, to get the dialogue started. It’s time for survivors (yes, we are all survivors!) to come together, raise our voices, and reach out to the others who are out there, thinking they are alone.
The first step in breaking the silence is often shattering stereotypes. Below are some myths and facts about pregnancy/infant loss:
Myth: Losing a baby is very uncommon; it won’t happen to me or someone I know.
- 25-50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (pregnancy.org).
- Stillbirths (the death of a baby after 20 weeks gestation) occur in one in every 160 pregnancies–about 60 stillborn babies every single day (March of Dimes).
- Each year, in the US alone, about 20,000 babies die in their first month of life, many after being born prematurely (March of Dimes).
- SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants ages 1 month to 1 year.
Myth: Pregnancy/infant loss is something that happens to older moms, overweight moms, or moms with health issues.
Truth: “Baby loss” does not discriminate. Often, it’s young, perfectly healthy women who experience the loss of a baby. Click here to read real-life stories of loss, and you’ll see the faces of ALL kinds of women–young, old, black, white, thin, obese–pregnancy/infant loss can strike anyone.
Myth: Miscarriages and Stillbirths are usually caused by a lack of prenatal care or something else the mother did during her pregnancy.
- Almost 100% of miscarriages could not have been prevented, with the majority being caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
- 25% of Stillbirths are caused by placental problems; 15% are caused by an infection; 2-4% are caused by umbilical cord problems, and 50% have no known cause of death whatsoever. While there are risk factors to be aware of (smoking, for instance), the overwhelming majority of stillbirths are completely out of the mother’s control.
Myth: A woman who has just lost a baby wants to forget it ever happened and move on with her life.
Truth: While this may be true for some, many are dying to talk about the child they lost, especially if it was a late-term pregnancy loss or infant loss. The chance to talk freely about their baby(ies), without feeling like they are making everyone uncomfortable, is something many, many women who have lost a baby wish for.
I tried to hard to cover my first loss. And with the second, I've been so much more open and it is healing.
I am the face of pregnancy loss...