One Mom Wants To Get Rid Of The Shame Of Women Announcing Their Pregnancies Early

"Silence begets stigma which begets shame."

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which is dedicated to people who have experienced loss, providing resources and encouraging discussions in an effort to do away with stigmas.

Dr. Jessica Zucker is a clinical psychologist specializing in women's reproductive and maternal mental health. She has been actively involved in breaking taboos associated with prenatal loss. She herself experienced a miscarriage and she's also the creator of the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign.

The psychologist recently launched another campaign to do away with the taboo of announcing pregnancies early.

Dr. Zucker collaborated with illustrator Kimothy Joy on a series of four illustrations that question the notion of women keeping their pregnancy secret until they're in their second trimester. The psychologist brings up the notion that "Silence begets stigma which begets shame."

The series features an "Out of the Woods" image, which focuses on the age-old notion that women should wait to share their pregnancy news until they are "out of the woods" after the first trimester. The Instagram post explains, "This recommendation/statement essentially translates into: don't share your good news in case it becomes bad news so that you won't have to share the bad news." 

Dr. Zucker writes, "We need to rethink this conceptualization of sharing our news in an effort to bolster support for women in pregnancy, no matter the outcome. In so doing, we will loosen cultures grip on grief ..."

She also makes the important point that the "out of the woods" construct doesn't apply to those who experienced later losses.

Other images from the campaign show a mom-to-be cradling her growing belly and women with their fingers over their mouths in a gesture of silence.

The final image of the campaign depicts different hands cradling a pregnant woaen who is wearing a crown. The Instagram post reads, "This chapter of the campaign is dedicated to continuing to shift the silence, stigma, and shame surrounding pregnancy and infant loss with an eye on early pregnancy. We believe women should be encouraged to share pregnancy news whenever they feel ready ..." 

"... We want women to relish support no matter the outcome of pregnancy."

People are able to download the images for free on Dr. Zucker's website to help spread the campaign's message about doing away with the stigma about announcing pregnancies early.

The #IHadAMiscarriage campaign and its latest chapter are dedicated to increasing conversations. Dr. Zucker made it clear to HuffPost that ultimately it is still the expectant mom's choice when to make her announcement. "Every woman can decide for herself when she openly talks about her pregnancy," she said. "If someone is inclined to wait until the second trimester to share, she should maintain that privacy. However, if others would like to share sooner, that's OK, too."

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