The viral account seeks to help women feel supported in their grief
The subject of miscarriage is, undoubtedly, a private and personal one. But opening up and sharing the grief surrounding pregnancy loss and stillbirth can be incredibly cathartic for many women who have experienced this type of loss.
Experiencing her own miscarriage at 16 weeks and the subsequent grieving process is what prompted Jessica Zucker to launch the Instagram account, “I Had A Miscarriage,” where women everywhere can share their own personal stories surrounding miscarriage and stillbirth.
Zucker has been working as a psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health, and has often treated women who have suffered miscarriages. In an interview with SELF magazine, Zucker says she didn’t truly understand the stigma of silent suffering surrounding pregnancy loss until she experienced it for herself. After laboring and delivering alone at home, she later underwent a dilation and curettage procedure at the hospital. “Two hours later I went back to my house and was no longer pregnant,” Zucker told SELF. “That was pretty much the most profound thing that ever happened in my life. The most traumatic.”
By starting a new kind of dialogue about this type of loss with her Instagram account and the #IHadAMiscarriage hashtag, Zucker hopes other grieving moms know they’re not alone.
“By putting it out there in the world and sharing it with women globally, people then feel this sense of recognition and a robust community,” she says. “I don’t have to know you, because it’s social media, but I know those feelings so well. In so many of comments or messages people say, ‘I could have written this myself.’ Part of the point is to really show that we’re more similar than we think.”
According to the March of Dimes, approximately 10-15 percent of recognized pregnancies (those that occur in women who know they are pregnant) end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester of pregnancy, though 1-5 percent of miscarriages can occur in the second trimester. They are typically caused by chromosomal abnormalities and are usually completely out of any mother’s control.
Despite how many women suffer miscarriages, and the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, most women feel profound loneliness, shame, and experience self-blame while grieving. Zucker says she hopes that her Instagram account and #IHadAMiscarriage offer women a place to process with their feelings and spread awareness about miscarriages and the stories behind them.