Shame, stigma and mother-blaming following miscarriage

Posted on May 15, 2014

Imagine having a miscarriage and keeping it secret because you'd get the blame for your pregnancy loss? We might believe that only happened in the past, but it is a situation faced by countless women every day. And, like miscarriage itself, it remains taboo to talk about.

Miscarriage is a common event. Around 1:4 pregnancies end in this way. Yet worldwide we remain poor at supporting women and their partners during and after miscarriage. This can be particularly acute in communities where access to health services are limited, which in turn can exacerbate physical and psychological recovery after pregnancy loss.

Infidelity in particular was negatively associated with miscarriage - participants suggested either that conceiving a child with someone who wasn't your husband could cause congenital abnormalities or a miscarriage, or sleeping with someone else while pregnant with your husband’s child could do the same. Other blame-related factors linked to miscarriage included women or their partners not respecting ‘tradition’ (for example failing to pay a bride price or building a new home), or being cursed or possessed.

These issues are sensitively explored by Dellicour and colleagues who invited 90 women from Rarieda District, Nyanza Province, in western Kenya to talk about conception, pregnancy, birth, disability and loss.

Click on the link below to read the full article

Category(s):Pregnancy & Birthing

Source material from British Psychological Society