People Have Misconceptions About Miscarriage

People Have Misconceptions

About Miscarriage, And That

Can Hurt

Most people think a miscarriage

is rare, and many believe that if a

woman loses a pregnancy that

she brought it upon herself.

Neither of those things is true,

but the enduring beliefs cause

great pain to women and their


In fact, almost half of people who

have experienced a miscarriage

or whose partner has had one

feel guilty, according to a survey

to be published Monday in

Obstetrics & Gynecology. More

than a quarter of them felt

shame. Many felt they'd lost a


"It's irrational, but there is such a

deep shame attached to not

being able to carry a baby to

term…. I don't want another

baby, I want THIS baby."

When NPR asked visitors to its

Facebook page to tell us what

they wished people knew about

miscarriage, the response was

overwhelming — 200 emails and

counting, many heartbreaking.

Their sentiments often echoed

what the survey found.

"I wish people knew how much

it's possible to miss a person you

have never met, and to mark time

by their absence," wrote one

woman. "I will always think

about how old my baby would

be now and what our lives

would be like if I hadn't lost the


The survey came about after Dr.

Zev Williams realized that many of

his patients had misconceptions

about miscarriage. "I'd tell them

how common a miscarriage was,

and they seemed shocked," says

Williams, an OB-GYN who directs

the Program for Early and

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at

Einstein College of Medicine of

Yeshiva University and

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