Women Covered Themselves In Moving Poems to Raise Awareness Around Pregnancy & Infant Loss

#IHadaMiscarriage campaign
Rebecca Coursey

In 2014, Jessica Zucker, PhD, a Los Angeles-based psychologist began the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign, and every October, in accordance with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, she focuses on a different aspect of loss and life that she feels deserves attention. This year, Zucker teamed up with artist and poet Skin on Sundays to create a video and photo campaign in which women posed with moving poetry written on their bodies. The aim: To draw attention to "the lack of standardized rites and rituals in our culture surrounding this ubiquitous topic." 

"We need a framework for grieving and for honoring ourselves and the babies we've lost," Zucker tells CafeMom. "Furthermore, in moving away from the antiquated silence whilst moving toward a culture of openness, representing our stories is tantamount. The photo and video shoot captured the importance of this by way of expressing on our bodies our reproductive histories. In sharing our stories in this way, we encourage others to do the same, or at the very least, we convey to women worldwide that they are part of a global community. We are not alone."

  • Videographer Jaki Covington shot videos for the #IHadaMiscarriage YouTube channel, where women discuss rituals for pregnancy and infant loss.

    Through the discussion with the women in the campaign, Zucker wants to encourage women to create their own rites and rituals. "I hope to impress upon culture that it is never too late to ritualize," she says.

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  • Additionally, doula and photographer Rebecca Coursey captured stunning images of women who have suffered pregnancy or infant loss. 

  • The poetry written across their bodies is just one way Zucker hopes to break down the silence and stigma women face around pregnancy and infant loss.

  • "It is my sincere hope that women and families feel like silence is being replaced with storytelling and that stigma surrounding pregnancy/infant loss will soon be a thing of the past," she tells CafeMom. 

  • "The less alone we feel in our pain, the sooner we embrace the complexity of grief and perhaps trust that we will at some point emerge. Women want to feel heard; they want to feel seen; they want to feel understood," Zucker elaborates. 

  • Through the campaign, Zucker also hopes to "galvanize community." 

    "I hope women feel a sense of comfort and connection upon learning about the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign," she says. "With the statistics being what they are and the fact that pregnancy/infant loss is not a disease and is therefore not going anywhere, we need a community that accurately reflects back to us the feelings we feel but may be too afraid to say out loud. I want women to feel, not just intellectually know, they are not alone and that there is absolutely no shame in loss. My hope is that future generations won't struggle with the silence, stigma, and shame that is currently so prevalent in our society. If I can help make a dent in that through this campaign, all this hard work will have paid off."

  • Zucker aims to empower women with the signs that appear in the campaign videos and photos.  

    "They're available free for download in my shop, so that women everywhere can share their story boldly as a way to tie in representation/a move away from silence, stigma, shame," she shares. With hope, this is just one small way women who have suffered loss can "ignite ritual," find community, feel empowered to speak out, and know they are not alone.