I appreciate that this blog is about a sensitive, and dare I say it controversial, subject, and that there will probably be some people out there who disagree with my opinions, but following a short item I saw on BBC Breakfast this morning I wanted to share my views on the issue of miscarriage.
The BBC item was focused on the fact that apparently 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the fact that often these could be avoided with the proper care and attention. The point that really got my attention however is the very real problem that despite how common this horrible occurrence is so few people feel free to talk about it.
We all know people who have been through this horrible experience, and yet how many of us actually know people who have talked about it… Not many I am sure. To me this is a real crime, a throwback to some kind of weird Victorian “stiff upper lip keeping up with the joneses” type of twisted logic that is really damaging to everyone involved.
When we were pregnant one thing that really frustrated me was the apparent “rule” imposed by society that we couldn’t tell anyone until after the 12 week scan. This seemed odd to me at the time. I didn’t really understand why society imposed this unwritten norm, as surely if the worst happened, we would want the support and care of our loved ones to help us through what must be a really difficult time. However, it seems that as a society in general we are stuck in an archaic frame of mind that sees this as something that should be kept secret, bottled up, hidden… Dare I say it, something to be ashamed of!?!
Obviously this view is appalling, and so so unhealthy for everyone concerned, but it seems very real and a big part of what I think is a wider problem surrounding pregnancy and childbirth in our society… an underlying lack of care for the mother (and to a lesser extent father). The mental well being of mum (and dad) is crucial to ensuring a happy and healthy baby, and yet with this and so much else surrounding the way pregnancy and childbirth is treated, it seems that this is completely neglected by the systems and general approach we have in the uk. Of course I have no solutions for this, and understand that it is a systematic issue and far bigger and more complex than I have made out here, but wondered what other people thought.
I know as a dad that I am probably not qualified to talk about these issues (and I am sure that some people on the Internet will let me know that via the usual Twitter trolling) however I just wanted to put my voice behind the campaign to shift how we look and think about miscarriage, to move this very real and very common tragedy out of the shadows, as it can only help improve the lives of anyone affected.