Miscarriage or Pregnancy Loss in Nigeria
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them.”
“It turns out that even two committed go-getters with a deep love and robust work ethic can’t will themselves into being pregnant.” Michelle Obama in her autobiography titled “Becoming”
I particularly love these quotes from America’s former first lady because for someone idolised by women all over the world it was an honest admission to a devastating but very common issue that affects women of reproductive age the world over; pregnancy loss. It was almost permission for women to acknowledge as valid their feelings of loss, inadequacy, guilt and confusion at what society perceives as a basic ability of every woman – conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to it’s successful completion.
Experiencing a miscarriage personally opened my eyes to the prospect of it happening to anybody. Speaking about it years after with women I knew exposed me to how close to home it could come … relatives and friends had experienced it and never talked about it openly because it’s not something we do openly in our society.
What is Pregnancy Loss or a Miscarriage?
Pregnancy loss could be described as the spontaneous termination of a pregnancy. If the demise of the baby occurs within the first 3 months to 20 weeks of life in the womb (or when it would have been considered as viable) it is termed an abortion or miscarriage whereas any loss from 20 weeks and above is considered a stillbirth. 80% of all pregnancy losses occur within the first 3 months of pregnancy and 15-25% of recognised pregnancies will end in miscarriage.