Meghan Markle’s discussion of miscarriage is needed

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Child loss: The Duchess of Sussex opened up about a miscarriage she suffered in July. Source: Mark Jones (via Wikimedia Commons)
Miscarriage is still very much considered a taboo, but following the Duchess of Sussex's frank discussion of her own child loss, normalising miscarriage is more important than ever.

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By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle this week addressed the world and opened up about one of the hardest things anyone could go through – a miscarriage.

In a piece for the New York Times titled ‘The Losses We Share’, the Duchess revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July, writing, “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second”.

Similarly, American presenter and model Chrissy Teigen, revealed in October that she and her singer husband John Legend had experienced their own child loss, in an essay uploaded to her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Following both instances, many took to social media to address how they felt about the Duchess of Sussex and Chrissy Teigen opening up about miscarriage. Although many showed their support, noting that the two addressing the topic helped to normalise miscarriage, some disputed this and noted they felt ‘uncomfortable’ by the frank discussion.

ITV talk show ‘Loose Women’ addressed Chrissy Teigen’s post in October, with presenter Carol McGiffin indicating she felt the matter was too private to share on social media and noted she felt uncomfortable by the fact Teigen had posted to Instagram hours after she suffered her miscarriage.

The Duchess of Sussex has also been scrutinised, with many on social media claiming it was not her place to speak about miscarriage, and some claiming it isn’t the type of discussion usually expected from members of the royal family. However, in 2018, the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall announced that she had suffered two miscarriages.

According to UK-based charity Tommy’s, an estimated one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the topic is still very much considered a taboo. Tommy’s midwife Sophie King told that “mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame”.

It’s unfortunate that even in this day and age there is still a stigma surrounding miscarriage. Especially in 2020, a year where isolation has become the norm due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s sad that many feel they still have to hide the pain they feel from losing a child.

BBC health reporter Smitha Mundasad noted there are 250,000 miscarriages every year in the UK alone, with the majority occurring within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Research has even suggested that one in six women go on to have symptoms of PTSD following their miscarriage, including nightmares and flashbacks.

A miscarriage shouldn’t be hidden. It is painful enough, without being told you must hide that pain. Celebrities such as the Duchess of Sussex and Chrissy Teigen don’t reveal they have suffered a miscarriage in order to reach headlines; they are doing so because it helps them to grieve, or because they know someone else who is grieving will appreciate hearing that it happens to everyone, regardless of status.

Miscarriages shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Little is known about why miscarriages occur, but there is hardly ever a reason. There is no blame, and yet it can often feel as though those who have miscarried are meant to grieve in silence, with the weight of feeling as though it was their fault.

If we don’t have the discussion about miscarriage the way Chrissy Teigen and the Duchess of Sussex are attempting to do, few will realise how common child loss is, and how many others need to hear theirs is not an isolated incident.

Yr wythnos hon, ceir sôn gan Meghan Markle, Dduges Sussex, ei bod wedi delio gydag un o’r pethau anoddach i fenyw: camesgoriad.

Wrth drafod gyda’r New York Times yn erthygl dan y teitl ‘The Losses We Share’, sonia’r Dduges ei bod wedi delio gyda’r camesgoriad ym mis Orffennaf, yn sôn, “wrth imi dal fy nghyntaf-anedig, yr oeddwn yn ymwybodol fy mod ar fin colli fy ail blentyn”.

Ym mis Hydref, wnaeth model Chrissy Teigen sôn ar Instagram bod hi a’i gwr, John Legend, wedi delio gyda cholled plentyn, ar ôl iddi fynd i’r ysbyty yn dioddef problemau gyda’i beichiogrwydd.

Wedi i’r ddwy nodi eu bod wedi colli’u plant, wnaeth nifer sôn ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol am sut yr oeddynt yn teimlo am y cyfaddefiadau. Er oedd nifer yn gefnogol, yn sôn bod y ddwy’n trafod camesgoriad yn helpu i wneud y topig yn un fwy arferol i bawb sydd wedi dioddef o gamesgoriad, wnaeth nifer hefyd nodi eu bod yn teimlo’n ‘anghyfforddus’ gan y drafodaeth.

Wnaeth sioe siarad ITV, ‘Loose Women’, trafod neges Chrissy Teigen ym mis Hydref, gyda chyflwynydd Carol McGiffin yn drafod ei fod yn teimlo bod y mater yn rhy bersonol i’w gynnwys ar gyfryngau cymdeithasol, a bod McGiffin yn teimlo’n anghyfforddus fod Teigen wedi rhannu’r neges ond oriau ar ôl y golled.

Mae’r Dduges Sussex hefyd wedi dioddef llawer o sylw, gyda nifer ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol yn nodi ni ddylai bod Meghan yn drafod camesgoriad, a bod hi ddim yn broffesiynol bod aelodau’r teulu brenhinol yn drafod camesgoriad. Er hyn, yn 2018, ceir sôn gan wyres y Frenhines, Zara Tindall, ei bod wedi dioddef dwy camesgoriad.

Yn ôl elusen Brydeinig Tommy’s, mae un ymhob pedwar menyw beichiog yn ddioddef camesgoriad, ond mae’r drafodaeth dal i’w ystyried yn taboo.

Mae’n annheg, hyd yn oed heddiw, bod dal gwarthnod wrth drafod camesgoriad. Yn enwedig eleni, pan bod y byd wedi gorfod ynysu, mae’n drist bod rhai dal i deimlo bod rhaid iddynt guddio’r poen eu bod wedi dioddef wrth golli plentyn.

Wnaeth newyddiadurwr y BBC, Smitha Mundasad, sôn bod 250,000 o gamesgoriadau pob flwyddyn yn y Deyrnas Unedig, gyda’r rhan fwyaf yn digwydd o fewn y 12 wythnos gyntaf. Mae ymchwil yn dangos, yn ogystal, bod un ymhob chwech menyw sy’n ddioddef o gamesgoriad yn ddioddef o PTSD o ganlyniad, gan gynnwys hunllefau ac ôl-flachiadau.

Ni ddylai fod camesgoriadau’n gorfod cael eu cuddio. Mae’n ddigon poenus, heb orfod cuddio’r poen. Nid yw enwogion megis Chrissy Teigen a’r Dduges Sussex yn nodi eu bod wedi dioddef o gamesgoriad i fod yn y papurau; mae nifer yn drafod eu camesgoriad er mwyn agor y drafodaeth a gwneud yn siŵr bod pobl yn ymwybodol bod hi’n arferol ac oherwydd ei bod yn helpu nhw i alaru.

Does dim llawer o wybodaeth am pam bod camesgoriadau’n ddigwydd, ond yn arferol, nid oes rheswm. Nad oes bai, a ni ddylai bod rhaid i’r rhai sy’n ddioddef camesgoriad teimlo fel bod rhaid iddynt alaru yn dawelwch, yn teimlo fel nhw sydd â’r bai.

Os nad ydynt yn dechrau’r drafodaeth am gamesgoriad, yn y ffordd ceisiodd Chrissy Teigen a’r Dduges Sussex, ni fydd pobl yn ymwybodol o ba mor gyffredin yw colled plentyn, a faint o bobl dylai clywed nad yw eu dioddefaint yn ddigwyddiad unig.

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