NEW YORK — Losing a child is never easy.
For Meghan Markle, she describes her own personal experience of suffering a miscarriage as unbearable. The Duchess of Sussex revealed her loss in an op-ed for the New York Times. The article details how she and husband, Prince Harry are coping with the loss while addressing some of the problems facing the world today.
The feminist, advocate, wife and mom writes about the moment she knew.
“I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
It’s been a year filled with changes as she and Prince Harry decided to live a more private life away from the Monarchy. In the article, she recounts hinting that something was wrong when a journalist asked if she was okay.
"Thank you for asking because not many people have asked am I okay. But it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes," said Markle.
She’s certainly not alone. Other celebrities have also bravely shared details of their own miscarriages, including Chrissy Teigen, Gabrielle Union, and Beyonce to name a few. But this kind of loss doesn’t discriminate.
Dr. Jaqueline Worth is an OB-GYN and co-author of The New Rules of Pregnancy. She says it happens more often than you think.
According to MayoClinic, About 10 to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many of them occur so early in pregnancy.
"Most of the time a miscarriage happens because the chromosomes in that particular pregnancy did not form correctly, and did not lead to a pregnancy that can turn into a healthy baby," Dr. Worth tells PIX11 News.
Symptoms often include bleeding or spotting. Sometimes a change in the sense of being pregnant may occur. Breast tenderness may decrease, and the expectant mother could become nauseous.
While the reason for Markle’s miscarriage is unknown, at 39, Dr. Worth says age could have played a role. Other risks for miscarriages include,
- Past miscarriages. Women who have had two or more consecutive miscarriages are at higher risk.
- Underlying conditions. Those who suffer from illnesses like diabetes are more likely to see their unborn baby reach full term.
- Uterine or cervical problems. Certain uterine abnormalities or weak cervical tissues (incompetent cervix) might increase the risk of miscarriage.
While there is no concrete way of preventing a miscarriage, Dr. Worth urges women to get a full check up from a OB-GYN to evaluate any correctable conditions that can increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
As for the Duchess of Sussex, she appears to view life in a positive light by bringing light to a common grief that’s not often discussed.
In addition to speaking candidly about her own personal loss, Markle addresses the pandemic and speaks out against racial injustice. She also provides some sense of hope for the future writing,
“For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another. Are we OK? We will be.”