#IHadaMiscarriage Is Erasing the Stigma of Child Loss 1 Photo at a Time

Mom in shame illustration
fucci via ihadamiscarriage/Instagram

Miscarriage is a dark reality that's often met with few words and an immeasurable amount of pain and guilt. Because of this, many women internalize their feelings -- in fear of being judged or thought to be less than --which makes miscarrying an extremely lonely life event. Hoping to be a light for those navigating the tunnels of child loss is psychologist Dr. Jessica Zucker, whose empowering #IHadaMiscarriage campaign aims to ensure no more women suffer in silence.

  • Dr. Zucker, who miscarried her second child at 16 weeks, created @IHadAMiscarriage in 2015 as a global platform for pregnancy loss and healing.

    "My personal experience was a way to model for other women around the world that there is absolutely no shame in loss," Dr. Zucker tells Self in an interview.

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  • With miscarriage affecting one in four women, this Instagram account has grown into an online community that's a gentle reminder you are *not* alone.

    "The research overwhelmingly points to women experiencing shame, self-blame, and guilt following pregnancy and loss," Dr. Zucker shares with Self. "I had to really think it through. As a psychologist, you don't typically share the details of your life. But [pregnancy loss] doesn't mean anything about who you are, or your body being a failure."

  • @IHadAMiscarriage features raw stories from Dr. Zucker and women that allow mothers to feel comforted and grieve without shame or fear of judgment.

    "How can the late afternoon summer breeze remind me of you when we never even had a chance to experience a moment together, let alone a season?" reads the caption on this photo.

    More from CafeMom: I Feel Empowered to Talk About My Miscarriage Because of Moms Like This 

  • The campaign touches on everything from the first period after a pregnancy or infant loss ...

    "Starting again, maybe. Anticipation. Hope that there will be future pregnancies that last," Dr. Zucker writes on this moving Instagram post. "Menstruation can mean so many different things to women around the globe, and for those of us who have miscarried, that first period post-loss can trigger unimaginable memories and maybe even a little bit of hope."

  • ... and the feelings of having a rainbow baby, and embracing all the "markings of a mother" ...

    "... I am reminded of the body that gave life to our son," Holly Skinner writes on the caption for this post on @IHadAMiscarriage. "It might not be pretty but my god is it beautiful. How grateful am I to this body, to the dark lines & stretch marks, to the scar from which he was lifted into this world. May I never look upon it in shame, only ever in admiration of the miracle that it created. To all the mothers out there, be proud of your stripes."

  • ... to the silent burden of feeling ignored during a time of need by the people you love.

    "The sting of not feeling seen, understood, attuned to is hard to forget," Dr. Zucker reveals in an Instagram post. "It's hard to wrap my heart around, especially now that I'm a mother. I want my children to feel that I am present, no matter the circumstance."

    More from CafeMom: This Mom's Response After Her Stillbirth Has Helped Countless Families Cope

  • "By putting [miscarriage] out in the world and sharing it with women globally, people then feel this sense of recognition and a robust community."

    As Dr. Zucker concludes in her Self interview:

    "I don't have to know you, because it's social media, but I know those feelings so well. In so many of comments or messages people say, 'I could have written this myself.' Part of the point is to really show that we're more similar than we think."

miscarriage & loss