A mother has created an account to end the silence and create a support network for those affected by miscarriage.
Joanna Zucker, from Los Angeles, has worked as a psychologist specialising in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health for almost decade, often treating women after pregnancy loss.
But it wasn’t until her own traumatic miscarriage that she truly understood the stigma and silence that surrounds it.
After experiencing a miscarriage at 16 weeks with her second child, Zucker created the Instagram account ‘I had a miscarriage’ to document her feelings using the hashtag #Ihadamiscarriage.
Soon enough, the page grew a far-reaching audience and she invited other women to use the account to submit their own stories.
“My personal experience was a way to model for other women around the world that there is absolutely no shame in loss,” she told .
“The research overwhelmingly points to women experiencing shame, self-blame and guilt following pregnancy and loss. I had to really think it through.
“As a psychologist, you don’t typically share the details of your life. But [pregnancy loss]doesn’t mean anything about who you are, or your body being a failure.”
As part of the movement, Zucker has also designed t-shirts with the word ‘Mama’ written alongside a rainbow to represent a ‘rainbow baby’ – a term commonly used by parents who have become pregnant after a miscarriage.
Zucker hopes that these t-shirts will work against the shame and guilt that often surrounds loss and instead allow women to take a sense of pride in their journeys.
“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.”