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And bust stigma about pregnancy loss while they're at it.
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You have probably noticed the Mother's Day advertisements plastered on every available sign and window-front for the last month. However, these ads can provoke a painful reaction in some women and couples, which is one important reason why International Bereaved Mother's Day is so important.
My journey through infertility was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was hard on me emotionally, hard on me physically; it affected my marriage and my relationships with friends and family. It took a toll on my professional life. It made me doubt who I was as a person and the plan I had for my life.
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I'm a professional family photographer and I have one beautiful son. But I've been pregnant three times. Last year I endured two miscarriages in the span of 10 months. My weariness was palpable. It lay on me like a thick heavy blanket. So many questions arose. So much soul-searching. It felt like a crisis of my spirit.
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Because talking about miscarriage can be incredibly hard.
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Because pregnancy loss is tough.
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Pregnancy loss is a sensitive topic.
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I hear this same deeply unsettling story again and again from women who experience loss. Women who are left with a profound sense of loneliness and isolation. So, let's talk. If you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, later pregnancy or infant loss, here are three things you should do.
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Parenting expert Alyson Schafer reveals the best way to show support.
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In Canada, a family loses a baby late in pregnancy or within the first year of life approximately every two hours. This number doesn't include early pregnancy loss, which impacts more women.
For a few blissful days in February, I imagined the days leading up to Oct. 15, 2016 would be filled with nervousness, physical discomfort and the anxious energy of a first time mom-to-be. Instead the days leading up to Oct. 15, 2016 are tinged with sadness, but also a desire to want to share our story. To add my voice to the chorus of women who have experienced miscarriage. October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
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The mom-to-be miscarried at seven weeks pregnant.
In Canada, many pregnant moms have the excitement of tracking their baby's development in the womb week-by-week. In many parts of the world, this scenario is completely different. In places like Zambia, the weeks leading up to pregnancy are a montage of mysterious symptoms and, sometimes, tragic consequences. A global lack of proper nutrition and healthcare during pregnancy contributes to many of the 15 million babies that are born preterm on a yearly basis.
Women often feel guilt, thinking a stressful event or something like their previous use of oral contraceptives caused the miscarriage. The majority of time, miscarriage is a random, isolated event and a cause can't be determined.
"What about a miscarriage? What do I look for?" I asked my doctor as I was leaving her office the morning I discovered I was pregnant. She never once brought it up. I almost forgot to. "Oh, right. Yes, that could happen. It does happen." She seemed uncomfortable. "There's about a 20 to 30 per cent chance it will happen. Call me if you have intense cramping with bleeding at the same time. Some spotting is normal, as is some cramping. But they shouldn't happen together." Later when I told my girlfriend how much that stat had terrified me -- 20 to 30 per cent -- she laughed it off. "No, that means there's a 70 to 80 per cent chance it WON'T happen! You have to think of it that way." So I did. I knew friends of friends who'd had miscarriages, but it wouldn't happen to me.
Miscarriages occur more often than people think, however they are rarely talked about. In the video above, Dr. Marjorie Greenfield discusses the biggest misconceptions about miscarriages to help peopl...