Why is it taboo to talk about miscarriages?

Posed photo of a pregnant woman.
Posed photo of a pregnant woman.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is estimated that one in four to six pregnancies in Singapore ends in a miscarriage.

The discussion about miscarriages and stillbirths is often avoided, even in the best of circumstances. Suicides and miscarriages are, in fact, more of a taboo than the topic of death itself.

Grieving parties hide their grief. The death of a yet-to-be-born child is a loss that is usually not openly acknowledged or publicly mourned. This has to change.

I am at a stage of my life where friends in my social circles are getting hitched, forming families and preparing for the birth of new lives.

There are regular updates on their social media.

Facebook pages and Instagram accounts are created in their child's name to record his first moments in the hospital to the many snippets of growth during his earliest formative years.

However, for parents who have lost their precious child during the pregnancy period, there are no Facebook pages or Instagram accounts.

There is only pain, loneliness and a deep abiding sense of powerlessness and emptiness.

The grief from miscarriage is very real and it does not matter what trimester the miscarriage takes place.

Parents should be able to celebrate and honour their little ones, free from judgment.

They should be able to shape the grieving process on their own terms.

Those of us in the community should help give voice to the parents who have lost their children as a result of a miscarriage.

The least we can do is to listen and support the grieving parents in our midst.

Chen Jiaxi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2019, with the headline 'Why is it taboo to talk about miscarriages?'. Subscribe