Did you know that about one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage? Despite the frequency of miscarriage, we are generally oblivious to the agony of miscarriage until the tragedy strikes us personally. Motherhood is beautiful because of the amazing new Life created in pregnancy; sadly, however, most people only recognize the motherhood of those fortunate women whose healthy children survive birth.
Those who suffer miscarriages or stillbirth, on the other hand, are faced with all of the devastating consequences that stem from widespread ignorance of the issue and the pervasive culture of death: if killing preborn children is accepted by so many, the tragedy of miscarriage can easily be downplayed.
For those women grieving over a miscarriage, the very real existence of their deceased children may not even be acknowledged by loved ones and friends. And medical professionals are often the worst offenders, offering emotionally fragile mothers the tired quip that wholly ignores the value that that miscarried baby had to his or her mother: “Just try again.”
Slowly, the tide is turning. With the growth of the Pro-Life movement, more and more individuals have begun to recognize the intrinsic value of human Life at every stage of development—including in utero. Proper miscarriage support from our communities is still in the early stages of development. Meanwhile, parents have found camaraderie and compassion, which are so important to healing, from an unlikely source: social media.
Online support groups offer a platform for mothers to gather and share their grief, their advice, and their stories with others who have experienced the same loss. One of these online groups is run by an organization called Miscarriage Matters, Inc. The organization works to provide support for mothers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. They also seek to educate medical professionals and society about the most Life-affirming ways to dialogue with and help mothers who have miscarried.
Texas Right to Life had the privilege of meeting the founder of Miscarriage Matters, Inc., Esther Stanard, at the educational conference for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists in February. Esther attended the event to help educate medical professionals about the importance of acknowledging and appreciating the loss that their patients experience in miscarriage.
Esther encouraged the physicians to ban the phrase, “just try again,” from their medical jargon in favor of more pro-woman, Life-affirming language. Esther also shared with the physicians that an integral part of the group’s ministry is to provide tokens of remembrance, in the form of thoughtfully-designed teddy bears, which physicians can give to their patients during the experience of a miscarriage.
We asked Esther how we in the Pro-Life movement can best serve women who experience miscarriage. She told us, “The best way to support a mother dealing with a miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant loss is to recognize that the totality of her loss equates to the death of her child, not a bad menstrual period.” Esther shared with us the importance of recognizing the existence of the Life that is present during every pregnancy—including those that are miscarried. “Until people can fully comprehend the enormous devastation caused by pregnancy and early infant loss,” she said, “Miscarriage Matters, Inc., will continue its mission of compassion and awareness as it creates a village of healing for thousands. Gone are the days of suffering in silence. Loss matters, and we are leading the charge.”
To find out more about Miscarriage Matters, Inc., visit their website. They offer support to mothers and fathers, support in Spanish, and free one-on-one mentor programs for parents experiencing loss. Miscarriage Matters, Inc., also provides live chat through their website for those who are seeking an immediate connection. If you are a mother or father who has suffered the incredible loss of miscarriage, the Miscarriage Matters Facebook page is confidential and ready to provide support.
Spread the word: miscarriage matters to the Pro-Life movement.