I have encountered some really interesting conversations this week, regarding talking to pregnant women about baby loss. I myself have sometime shied away from speaking my own truth to a pregnant woman, even when they ask.
Because it has always seemed to be the accepted view that it’s never polite or appropriate to talk about miscarriage, and especially not stillbirth, to pregnant women in case …..
In case what? … They might worry I think is the point.
Imagine if we took that approach with say, breast cancer.
Let’s not tell anyone that they could get breast cancer because they might worry. Let’s not tell women about the risks and get them to have their breasts checked. Women might worry. All the people who will get breast cancer, hard luck to them. They’ll just have to find out when it’s too late and die. Sorry. But that’s better than having all women worrying about the fact that they could get it.
Doesn’t make any sense does it.
Maybe you are thinking breast cancer is different because it’s more common? Wrong. 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a loss. 3 in 1000 children are stillborn.
Maybe you are thinking that it’s different because it’s not preventable? Wrong, around half of all stillbirths are preventable. We are making huge strides with understanding preventable causes for miscarriage too.
If women knew the risks they’d demand an extra scan, if they had due reason to be concerned about their babies growth. Women can take responsibility for their own health and their babies health. If women suffering miscarriage/s, had more of the real information about the situation, they would be able to demand better care too. Information is power.
Women can handle the truth. And knowing that people can die is a fact of life. And having and managing your own causes for concern when you are pregnant, is not only necessary and part of being a mother, it is, (in my view at least), better than babies dying who could be saved.