The taboo surrounding miscarriage means that people carry many misconceptions about the subject. Without open communication, this isn’t going to change in a hurry. That’s one reason that I encourage people to talk about miscarriage if they wish to do so.
If you know someone who has had a miscarriage, you might now discover that you have been misinformed about what miscarriage means and what the couple is going through.
Being open about miscarriage also helps to remove some of the initial shock that women encounter if and when they go through it for the first time. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about miscarriage.
1) A miscarriage is just a heavy period
A very early miscarriage could be described as feeling something like a heavy period. Women normally experience more cramping and contraction-like pain, however, and there are likely to be large clots.
No woman who has had a miscarriage or is going through one wants to hear that it’s ‘just a heavy period.’ And this kind of misinformation is unhelpful for all women.
2) Miscarriage is rare
Due to the reluctance to talk about miscarriage, it seems like something that doesn’t happen very often. According to some estimates, however, around one in four pregnancies end early as a result of miscarriage.
More open dialogue on the subject of miscarriage helps women and their families prepare for the possibility and to cope better if it happens.
3) A miscarriage does not represent the loss a real baby
It’s common for people to think that women are overreacting after a miscarriage because it was early. Losing a child at any point of the process is a loss of life, and a loss of those hopes and dreams attached to it.
Our grief isn’t related to the dimensions of the life lost. The misconception that miscarriages do not signify the loss of a real baby is particularly painful and unhelpful.
4) The mother must have done something wrong
In most cases, it’s not something that could have been prevented or avoided. From being told that they wore the wrong clothes to being told that it was God’s will, women are too frequently made to feel as though their loss was their fault. It’s unlikely, however, that stress, heavy lifting, STDs, previous abortions, or long-term birth control will cause miscarriage.
Misconceptions abound when people are afraid to talk about a subject. With more honest communication – and more listening than talking – we’ll be stronger and happier all round.