Pregnancy loss is devastating to expectant parents and carries with it a sense of stigma. Many people hope sharing the story of miscarriage and pregnancy loss could help others experiencing the same tragedy.
Ivy Sias is just weeks away from delivering her third child, but her motherhood journey hasn't come without loss. She's had three miscarriages.
“The shame, the guilt, the why. My last loss was really difficult because I just couldn't seem to make sense of it,” she said.
This week, model, author, and TV host Chrissy Teigen publicly shared the sudden loss of her third child with husband John Legend.
“I think that it's incredibly selfless for her to be able to do that in this moment of her own grief by bringing awareness to other moms that you're not alone and that no one is immune,” Sias said. “I think sometimes listening to what the mom needs, or what that person needs, is the best thing you can do to be supportive."
As a licensed counselor who specializes in maternal mental health, she hopes Teigen sharing her loss will bring awareness and encourage women to seek support.
“Miscarriages are exceedingly common, overall, for all comers, they happen in about 10% of what we say are clinically recognized pregnancies,” said Dr. Rashmi Rao from UCLA’s division of maternal fetal medicine. “So in about 50% of the time, I don't have something to tell my patients well this happened for this reason."
After 20 weeks, the loss is considered a stillbirth. The CDC reports each year, around 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.
It can take a few weeks to a month or more for the body to recover from a miscarriage, but even longer to heal emotionally.
"It is a loss of a family member, it’s a loss of a hope and dream,” Dr. Rao said.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Experts say tell your doctor if you need help dealing with grief and look to organizations like Postpartum Support International and the March of Dimes for support.