In this image from video, former first lady Michelle Obama speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

Ketkar: Breaking taboo and silence around miscarriages —need of the hour

Women need to be able to grieve openly without fear of being shamed

Last week, when Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex revealed of her miscarriage in a personal essay, it was not only revealing of the deep pain and grief that she went through, but also revealing of the fact that there is still a long way to go before the world accepts that miscarriages are normal and accepts women’s right to grieve.

In an opinion piece, Meghan revealed how she felt a sharp cramp back in July and as she was clutching her first born child, she knew she was losing her second. A poetic image of life and death in one frame, but so raw and heartfelt at the same time.

In September, model and social media influencer Chrissy Teigen shared a social media post that she and her husband, John Legend, had lost their unborn son.

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack,” said her heart-wrenching post.

RELATED: Meghan Markle reveals she had miscarriage in the summer

RELATED: Michelle Obama reveals she had a miscarriage in new memoir

Canadian-American singer and songwriter, Alanis Morissette also revealed earlier this year of her difficult pregnancies when she had a “bunch of miscarriages”.

In 2018, former first lady of the US, Michelle Obama also shared her experience of miscarriage, calling it lonely, painful and demoralizing.

What these revelations from powerful women have attempted to do, is to an extent normalize miscarriages.

To an extent. I say that because even today, a miscarriage carries with it taboo, guilt, shame.

While all these women found supporters and praise for their revelations, they also received a lot of flak with people commenting on their lifestyle choices, blaming them for the loss, and attempting to shame them. And these are famous, powerful women. I shudder to think what it must be for all the regular, not-famous women who go through such pain of loss and yet are unable to grieve openly with the fear of being shamed.

Time, and time again, research has shown that one in four known pregnancies or up to 20 per cent pregnancies, end in miscarriage. While the research attempts to show how common and normal miscarriages are, they are still devastating, both emotionally and physically. Several women who miscarry have to go through a surgery to remove fetal tissue. The loss could also, in many women trigger post-traumatic stress disorder.

And still, women don’t talk about this loss, they carry it within them, many of them carry it with them their entire lives. Women don’t talk; rather, women are discouraged from talking about this because it is too personal, too disgusting according to some and some fear they will be told it is their fault.

Over the years, several powerful, famous women have come out and revealed how they dealt with the loss of miscarriage, in the hopes of shedding light on the issue, on ensuring that everyone realizes it can happen to anyone and hoping it would get rid of the taboo.

But here we are in 2020 and people are still angry at women for having gone through this, they are still angry at women for sharing their experiences, and they are still trying to keep the topic of miscarriages under wraps, making it into a package full of shame and guilt.

Isn’t it time to make sure women have the space to grieve? There is kindness lacking everywhere, and it really is time to extend some towards women who keep going through life without any complaints, silently grieving over an unimaginable loss.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) were deployed to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device on Jan. 20. (Google/Screencap)
UPDATED: Bomb disposal unit still determining nature of suspicious device found on Salt Spring Island

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Hecht Beach cabin in ashes. (Submitted)
Beloved secret cabin lost to fire on the North Island’s west coast

The trappers cabin was shared with locals, but kept mostly secret

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Most Read