In light of Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, and wife, Priscilla Chan, opening up about their struggles with miscarriage, there has been a very positive increase in conversation around the all-too-often hushed topic of miscarriage. Author of the TIME magazine article, “Men Are the Forgotten Grievers in Miscarriage” Sarah Elizabeth Richards, had it right when she said, “Even more astonishing: It was a man sharing his emotions.”
In Zuckerberg’s public post on Facebook announcing the exciting news that he and Chan are expecting a baby girl, he opened up about the three miscarriages they had experienced, and how they grieved:
You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you—as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
The Reality of Miscarriages and Grieving
Up to one in four of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. While there’s been an increase in openness focused on women’s suffering, according to Sharon Covington, MSW, LCSW-C, director of psychological support services at Shady Grove Fertility, “Men are the forgotten grievers.” Women often get the attention. They have the physical loss and, often times, women are more open about grieving and showing their emotions.
On the other hand, typically, men don’t express their emotions as openly, even though studies have found that men also suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of miscarriage. Even though men don’t express loss in the same way, according to the article, “Not only is their own mental health at risk, their isolation can hurt their partners’ well-being and destroy their relationships.”
Hopefully, as more articles like this and as more men like Zuckerberg come forward and open up about their struggles, miscarriage will become less of a solitary struggle. “In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope,” remarked Zuckerberg.
Support Resources Are Available
Shady Grove Fertility offers co-ed support groups for infertility and pregnancy loss where men can feel comfortable attending with their partners. If you or someone you know has struggled with miscarriage, we have several upcoming support groups available. View the SGF Support Group Schedule.
To learn more about what causes miscarriage or to discuss infertility treatment options that may be effective after recurrent miscarriage, schedule a new patient appointment by calling our new patient center 877-971-7755.