Miscarriage is a heavy but important topic, so when celebrities share their own experiences, the impact is huge. According to the Mayo Clinic, miscarriage is the “spontaneous loss” of pregnancy before the 20th week (with most occurring before the 12th week) and anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of known pregnancies end within this stage. The health organization estimates that the actual number is higher because miscarriage can occur before a person even realizes she is pregnant. While every case is different, notes Mayo, miscarriage usually happens because the fetus has not developed the way it should and certain conditions such as maternal diabetes, hormonal problems or infections can contribute.
But despite how common it is for women to miscarry, pregnancy loss isn’t always an accepted topic of discussion. In 2020, Meghan Markle revealed her own miscarriage in a New York Times essay, which occurred after the birth of her son Archie, 2, and before the birth of daughter Lilibet, 4 months (whom she shares with husband Prince Harry).
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” wrote Markle. “In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
Markle added, “Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Other celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Beyoncé, Gabrielle Union, and Demi Moore have bravely stepped forward to share their own losses and we applaud them for it. Ahead, we’ve gathered some of their insights.
This article was originally published in August 2016.