Mark Zuckerberg & Wife Priscilla Chan Expecting First Child

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mark Zuckerberg is right: We need to talk about miscarriage.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, used a pregnancy announcement Friday to share information about her three miscarriages as they’ve tried to conceive in recent years. Though miscarriages are incredibly common — they occur in about 15% of known pregnancies — they’re often an isolating experience for hopeful parents struggling to have children. “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,” wrote Zuckerberg. “So you struggle on your own.” Zuckerberg wrote candidly about the couple’s struggle over the past few years and said he wanted to write about their experience to make way for others to feel more comfortable sharing their own stories.

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and is often both emotionally and physically difficult. In a survey published earlier this year, researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in New York found that 55 percent of American adults think miscarriage happens in “fewer than 6 percent of all pregnancies.” Survey respondents were asked to choose possible causes of miscarriage; 76 percent thought a miscarriage could be caused by lifting a heavy object (research disagrees), and 64 percent said previous use of oral contraceptives could play a role (it doesn’t — Pill users actually have lower rates of miscarriage). There’s the chance that Zuckerberg and Chan’s disclosure could help change this: 28 percent of the women who miscarried said, in the same survey, that “public disclosures of miscarriages by celebrities and public figures helped with feelings of isolation.” Zuckerberg and Chan’s decision to open up about miscarriage could actually help kick off a new conversation.

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