Miscarriage is a (disturbingly) taboo topic that impacts a number of women all over the world. Yet somehow, society is hesitant to talk about it. And when it does, it doesn't always do so accurately. There are many myths about miscarriages that aren't true that are incredibly isolating and damaging to the women and families that they affect. Especially for women in the throes of grief over losing a child that they were all too recently celebrating.
These women are led to believe that miscarriage is rare; that it's somehow something they could have prevented if they would have only tried harder or researched more fervently. They're told to keep their grief quiet — that no one wants to hear about the loss of a baby that they hadn't even met yet.
Buy removing these false stereotypes and myths from the cultural vocabulary, women will be liberated from the unnecessary guilt and restraints placed on them for having a miscarriage. It will also open up new conversations, allowing grieving women to heal fully and be properly educated about the facts of miscarriage.
Whether you're in the grieving process yourself, wanting to better relate to a friend, or simply want to better educate yourself on the facts of miscarriage, these myths should be the first that you dispel.
Myth #1: Miscarriage Is Rare
As scary as the thought may be, mothers who have miscarried shouldn't be made to feel alone or isolated, because miscarriage is much more common than most people are led to believe. In fact, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA,) about 10 to 25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Very Well elaborated further, noting that the vast majority of miscarriages happen in the first trimester, oftentimes before the mother is even aware that she is pregnant.
Myth #2: Miscarriage Can Be Prevented
Not only is miscarriage common, but it's generally completely unpreventable. According to Parents, most miscarriages are caused by genetic or uterine abnormalities and, for some, a cause can't be determined at all. Believing that sex, diet, exercise, lifting, or other things can directly cause a miscarriage is not only unhealthy but simply not true.
Myth #3: It's The Woman's Fault
Perhaps one of the most damaging myths surrounding miscarriages is that when a woman looses a baby, it's automatically her fault. In some cases, the aforementioned APA article noted that lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes, alcohol consumption, or drug use have been linked to the loss of a pregnancy. But more often than not, even when a mom lives "by the book" there is sometimes nothing she can do.
Myth #4: Miscarriage Grief Is Easier To Heal
According to Parents, oftentimes the grief a parent experiences after having a miscarriage is the same as if they would have lost a fully developed child. The grief period can last for a year or longer and should never be rushed or glazed over.
One study published in the National Institutes of Health found that the grief mothers experience after a miscarriage is just as intense as the grief experienced after other types of losses. The stereotype that exists often pressures moms to "just get over it" after they've miscarried and this is not only extremely harmful but nearly impossible, causing moms to shut down emotionally and feel shame about their sadness.
Myth #5: Miscarriage Means You Can't Have Healthy Pregnancies In The Future
Many women believe that if they've miscarried once (or even multiple times), that they will never be able to have a healthy, full term pregnancy. However, Web MD stated that up to 90 percent of women who experience miscarriages go on to have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
It's extremely rare for women to experience multiple miscarriages. According to Web MD, only about one percent of women experience three or more miscarriages and they are typically due to hormonal issues, genetic disorders, or other issues.