Shalom Life | August 12, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg Working to Break Down Miscarriage Stigmas

In light of his wife’s recent pregnancy, he opens up about their previous heartbreaks

By: Maria Cruz

Published: August 7th, 2015 in News » World

Mark Zuckerberg Working to Break Down Miscarriage Stigmas

Photo: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan


On July 31st, Mark Zuckerberg made a public Facebook post announcing that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were expecting a baby girl. He wrote that this will be a new chapter in their lives and how they will be focusing on making the world a better place for their child. The post already has over one million likes.

However, some people may not know that this isn’t the first time Chan and Zuckerberg have been expecting. The first three times they got pregnant ended tragically in miscarriages.

In an attempt to break down the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding miscarrying a child, Zuckerberg welcomed those who had gone through similar experiences to share their stories. An outpouring of similar stories began to flood Facebook in order to break down any ignorance towards the issue.

The American Pregnancy Association defines miscarriage as a pregnancy that ends within the first 20 weeks of gestation. They went on to say that studies have shown that “10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage”.

They continued by saying that women under the age of 35 are at a 15% chance of suffering a miscarriage and women 35-45 are at a 20-35% chance. Women over 45 have a 50% chance of experiencing a miscarriage. Women who have already gone through one before are at a 25% risk of having another one.

The site also provides information on the different types of miscarriages, treatments for them (including emotional treatment), and what the causes are.

In an article published by NPR earlier this year, “People Have Misconceptions About Miscarriage, And That Can Hurt,” it was revealed that one partner will often feel guilty or ashamed and many feel as though they’d lost a child. NPR also received hundreds of emails from women describing their experiences and talking about how they wish people could understand how possible it is to miss someone you’ve never met.

However, in order to break down the stigmas surrounding the issue, Dr. Zev Williams, an OB-GYN who directs the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center in New York, spoke about miscarriage the way he would any other medical condition. “The cultural silence around miscarriage contributes to [the] misunderstandings, he was quoted as saying to NPR. “A lot of other conditions that people used to speak of only in hushed tones, like cancer and AIDS, we speak about a lot more."

Zuckerberg and Chan are taking the same steps towards speaking up about miscarriage in order to inform people about what it is, the struggles associated with it, and lending support to those who are experiencing the same things to ensure that couples know they aren’t alone.

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