A mother's love starts from when the baby is in her womb. But, even before that, while the parents are trying to conceive, they also conceive dreams of what their baby will grow up to become. They have high hopes, and stillbirth or miscarriage crushes those dreams and hopes. Yet, where are parents to get support when there remains a social stigma that mothers who give birth to stillborn children or have a miscarriage cannot even talk about it without being made to feel guilty?
Mom Gets Sent Wrong Ashes of Stillborn Child
Chabria Walls was grieving the loss of her stillborn daughter and the loss of her mother who died to COVID-19. It is even harder to mourn during the pandemic as families cannot come together to support each other emotionally with each other's presence. Further, the bodies dying in the time of COVID-19 pandemic need to be burned.
When Rickey Woods opened the urn, the grieving parents discovered it was not their child's ashes. Rather, it was named after a different child who was also stillborn around the same time of their loss. The parents brought the ashes back to Pitts Mortuary where the cremation took place. They were told that while the cremation certificate was wrong, the ashes were in fact of their baby's-whom they named Ja'Miracle, She Knows reported.
Pitts Mortuary reportedly fired the employee responsible for the mix-up and is trying to make amends with the grieving parents. Yet the parents are hurt from the devastating experience and says they can forgive, but not forget, and cannot accept the ashes not knowing if it really belongs to their child. Parents, and mothers in particular, need empathy and respect when they suffer the loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth.
Stillbirth and Miscarriage Occur More Times Than Thought of
The World Health Organization revealed that there 2.6 million babies are stillborn, around 50% dying during childbirth. Further, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. While there are cases where these can be prevented, not all can be explained. However the parents lose the baby, they deserve respect, healthcare, and support.
Women continue to face the stigma and shame of losing a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth. Apparently, mothers who lose their babies are made to feel guilty. They are also discouraged to talk about their loss and the experience of miscarriage or stillbirth. The result is disconnection, isolation, and women trapped in grief. Nurses and midwives can be a wonderful source of support during this time, so WHO has the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health to ensure women are receiving high quality care from pregnancy to childbirth. This includes caring for mental health conditions connected with pregnancy including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
ALSO READ: 5 Common Causes Why Miscarriage Occurs
Breaking the Silence, the Taboo Women Face After Stillbirth and Miscarriage
The risk of pregnancy ending in a miscarriage get higher as women age and women in their 40's have a 50% higher risk of having a miscarriage. But now women are more able to get support. Though like in the case of the mom who was sent the wrong ashes of her stillborn baby, one cannot expect the awareness to impact all and make everyone give respect where respect is due among parents who grieve the loss of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Now, women are talking about their experiences and receiving support. One such example is Dr. Natalie Crawford, a fertility doctor in Austin, who struggled through an ectopic pregnancy and three miscarriages while attending births, Today reported.
Julia Bueno, a psychotherapist in London revealed that there remains a taboo on the topic that people do not want to know. She went on to author the book "On the Brink of Being: Talking About Miscarriage."
"There is a taboo around women's bodies, there is a taboo around women's bleeding. People don't want to know," said Julia Bueno, a London-based psychotherapist and author of "On the Brink of Being,: Talking About Miscarriage."
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