According to Very Well Family, 15 to 20 percent of women who become pregnant end up miscarrying. And according to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Directory, even a successful gestation period can end in a stillbirth or neonatal death, which is when a baby dies within 28 days of life.
Considering how common the loss of a child can be, it’s surprising that talking about infertility, miscarriage and infant loss isn’t more common. And that’s precisely why the Rise for Women organization created a photo series to raise awareness about what many mothers — and expectant — mothers face.
The photo series was posted to Facebook as a powerful reminder of the difficulties surrounding pregnancy. The images highlight some of the comments made to women before and sometimes even after people find out they’ve miscarried or otherwise lost a child:
“Sometimes #Struggledoesnothavealook,” reads the series intro. “1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage or loss, yet how many women do you know who actually talk about it? We are the face of 1 in 4 pregnancies. Start the discussion. We wrote down the common things people say to us before and sometimes even after knowing about our losses. The things said to us can sometimes hurt. Our babies matter too.”
Michelle proves that things aren’t always as they seem:
This photo proves that even a question as common as “how many children do you have?” can be hurtful:
Asking a woman when she’s planning to start a family can be a tricky thing:
Christina showcases that growing a family isn’t always easy:
Assuming someone is pregnant with their “third child” when they have two children isn’t always accurate:
The series serves two purposes — raising awareness, but also reminding us all to be mindful of how our words can impact others.
It’s becoming more and more common for women to talk about the struggles they’ve faced. Women such as Chrissy Teigen, Carrie Underwood and Shawn Johnson have all been vocal about their dealings with infertility and loss. But considering that one in four pregnancies end in loss, there’s room for a lot more discussion and support.
And remember — what you say matters.