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Michelle Obama's Miscarriage Story May Help Other Women Share Theirs (417 hits)


Emmarie Huetteman


From Kaiser Health News

Photo: Becky Shaw's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in 2014. The following year, she and her husband, Ben, had Parker, their "rainbow baby," as babies born after pregnancy loss are often called.

Ruby Eliason Photography


Miscarriage is "lonely, painful, and demoralizing," Michelle Obama writes in her new memoir. Yet, by some estimates, it ends as many as 1 in 5 pregnancies before the 20-week mark.

The former first lady's disclosure that she and former President Barack Obama suffered from fertility issues, including losing a pregnancy, has sparked conversations about miscarriage, a common but also commonly misunderstood loss.

Psychologists say that ignorance can contribute to the emotional and psychological toll of losing a pregnancy, isolating women and their partners and leaving loved ones uncertain of how to comfort them.


Nearly five years later, Becky Shaw of Woodbridge, Va., still remembers texting her friend after her miscarriage, just asking if she was around to talk. Within a couple of minutes, her friend called. "I don't even remember what she was saying, but she made me laugh," Shaw said.

The trauma began early in her first pregnancy. Shaw, now 35, had experienced some bleeding when she and her husband showed up for her checkup on Christmas Eve in 2013. The nurse performing the ultrasound was wearing a Santa hat.

"You can tell when something's wrong," Shaw said. "She's just staring at the screen. And then she was finally like, 'Can you hold your breath?' "

The nurse struggled to find the baby's heartbeat, which she said was dangerously weak and could stop. For weeks, Shaw felt "like a time bomb." She miscarried in early January.

Shaw said it is important for a woman like Obama to speak out about her miscarriage. "It just makes people feel less alone," she said. "My miscarriage wrecked me, and I had the most supportive friends and the best doctors."

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/16/668349859/michelle-obamas-miscarriage-story-may-help-other-women-share-theirs
Posted By: Elynor Moss
Friday, November 16th 2018 at 10:36AM
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