A local OBGYN says when celebrities open up about their experiences, it makes it easier for other women to talk about their journeys too.
EDINA, Minn. — Entrepreneur, celebrity chef and model Chrissy Teigen has opened up about losing her baby because of pregnancy complications. It’s been trending on Twitter all day, as people showed their outpouring of support.
Opening up about a miscarriage takes bravery.
“We see women suffer loss in pregnancy frequently,” Edina OBGYN Dr. Caroline Haakenson said. “The most common theme is that they feel isolated.”
Haakenson said experiences with miscarriage are more common than many think, but something people just don’t talk about enough.
“I think it’s because there is shame and guilt associated with it,” Haakenson said. “Women feel like motherhood is something natural so it should come naturally, and they should be able to have children when they want and how they want.”
Getting pregnant is one thing. Staying pregnant is also its whole challenge. Haakenson said it’s often one that is out of everyone’s hands.
“Approximately ten percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage,” she said. “More than 80 percent of those are in the first trimester. So it’s certainly more rare to have a miscarriage later on.”
However, that does happen too.
“I would say [guilt] is one of the first emotions women express to me,” Haakenson said. “Was there something I should have done? How could I have prevented this? Did I eat anything wrong? And we have to stop and say, there’s absolutely nothing you could have done that could have prevented this or could have caused this.”
Haakenson is a mother of four children herself — but she said she’s also experienced a miscarriage. She said being surrounded by her OBGYN colleagues helped. Holding space for her hurt also helped.
“I know the physical difficulties, as well as the emotional difficulties, and the long road that it can be to feeling normal again,” she said. “I tell people that it is helpful, I carry that child with me today. She is still part of our family that we talk about because that pregnancy existed and it’s not in a void. That’s what I recommend to everyone: to not let the pregnancy be deleted from your history… Remembering the loss doesn’t mean you have to relive it, but you appreciate what your body has been through.”
Haakenson says she recommends to many of her patients that they find a group of people they trust — to talk things through during pregnancy and through loss if it happens. She said most, if not all OBGYN practices have resources women can turn to, including support groups: