Every day, in Australia alone, approximately 282 women lose a baby before 20 weeks’ gestation. One in four pregnancies ends before 12 weeks, and one in three pregnant women over the age of 35 will experience pregnancy loss.
And yet, despite how tragically common miscarriage is, it’s still considered a taboo topic. Not helped by the fact that the majority of women feel obliged to keep their pregnancy a secret until the 12-week mark, many suffer in silence, alone in a grief that society isn’t quite sure how to handle.
Heartbreakingly, a new Australian study has found that almost 70 per cent of women who suffered a miscarriage felt they received no support. Conducted by not-for-profit Pink Elephants Support Network, which exists to provide online resources for women experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss, the study surveyed more than 1700 women about their experiences.
The results have been released today to mark International Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.
“Today, 283 women will go through pregnancy loss across Australia and we know it is sadly a rarity for them to receive the information and support they both deserve and need,” says Pink Elephants Support Network co-founder Samantha Payne.
To bridge this gap, the network recently launched an Australian first: free peer support sessions for grieving women with a trained mentor who has also experienced pregnancy loss.
“Miscarriage is an individual journey, but it’s not one that should be walked alone,” Payne says. “Everyone experiencing miscarriage has the right to receive support, empathy and understanding to assist and guide them through their own healing process. We support women as they grieve, nurture them as they heal and empower them as they move beyond.”
Anybody seeking support can visit pinkelephantssupport.com to access free resources, downloadable fact sheets or to apply for assistance from a Peer Support Ambassador.