Many women are told not to share their pregnancy news with others until they are “in the clear”– far enough along in pregnancy to be “safe” from the risk of miscarriage (typically after the first trimester, or the first 10-12 weeks of pregnancy). But why do we feel that talking openly about miscarriage is a “bad” thing? What is the point of hiding our news? Is it really all that helpful to us not to have the support of others in the event of a miscarriage? Is our first trimester of pregnancy not as important as the others? Do we not need support and guidance early on just the same as we may in the later trimesters? This practice is old paradigm, built from fear instead of love and it’s time to let it go.
One of my first clients ended up miscarrying in her 16th week of pregnancy. For those that are unaware, that is past the “safe zone” many women stick to (which takes place around 12 weeks). The experience of this was transformational both for her, and for me as a doula, because I learned the power and importance of having loving, immense support during the aftermath of such a loss. I walked into the hospital to see an entire room full of loved ones, all there to support this woman through what felt like a horrible tragedy. My immediate reaction was to thank every single person in the room for being there to bring laughter and light during what could have been seen as a completely dark and devastating time. She wasn’t alone when she experienced her loss, and that made so much more sense than a woman going through it alone (or solely with her partner), and her healing began immediately. Why is it that in the case of a loss in (almost) any other circumstance we would find it completely normal, and likely expected, to have loved ones near to help us cope, but in the case of a miscarriage we think that we should be quiet?
Let’s also discuss how important support during the first trimester is. A lot of times, the first trimester is very tough for women as their hormones are thrust into new waves and their body begins to grow new life. These profound changes take place remarkably quick; physical, emotional, spiritual and mental transformations begin the instant you become pregnant. Why should women have to bare these times alone, or with little help? Why do we not find support in the early months of pregnancy as important as support when a woman is farther along? I have news for you, it is VERY important to have support AS SOON AS you become pregnant; the first trimester is not an exception to feeling loved, helped, supported, guided, and cared for. Your hormones don’t wait until month three to let you know you’re pregnant, your baby doesn’t wait until then to start growing, therefor, there is no need for you to wait to be pregnant or to honor your need for support.
In a previous blog I discussed the importance of choosing who is part of your birthing experience, and emphasized that we must be wise with whom we want to share our news with, and this is really what should be expressed about sharing your news with others. It is not a bad thing to share your news early on, in fact, you will likely experience a happier, healthier pregnancy by having support from the very beginning, and in the case of a miscarriage you will have a strong support system ready to carry you through. What you may want to consider, instead, is who you truly believe will provide unconditional love and support, no matter how things play out, and be sure to share your news with those whom you trust.
It is time to put away the need to appear “perfect” by keeping certain things to ourselves. Here are three solid reasons you should share news of your pregnancy as soon as you conceive:
- You deserve support, love and guidance. Yes, even during your first trimester, if not ESPECIALLY during your first trimester. I prefer to meet clients as early in pregnancy as possible, because the transformation of pregnancy begins the instant you know that you are carrying life. The influence of a healthy support system is insurmountable. The statistics regarding having a doula show that it is incredibly helpful in reducing c-section rates, need for pain medication/epidural, use of episiotomy, reducing the odds of postpartum depression, and helping mothers to feel good about their birthing experiences, but the reality is that having support far before labor begins is even more helpful and transformative. Pregnancy brings through us new, unknown parts of ourselves and opportunities to grow. Each pregnancy is different, just as each child is, and therefor, each pregnancy brings through us a different call to grow and transform–new symptoms, feelings/emotions, new ideas and insights, etc. The first trimester is often a rough time; where the mother is accepting new life into her current world, her body is changing rapidly to accommodate and grow a healthy baby often bringing with it lovely side effects, and she is often balancing other children, work, and life events while these things take place. It makes a lot of sense to say that women in their first trimester absolutely should share their pregnancy with loved ones who can lend a hand (outside of their partner), and professionals who can make the transition easier. Being pregnant doesn’t start three months after conception, it begins immediately, and so should your support.
- In the event of a miscarriage, you will have a support system that you can depend on, ready to help you begin your healing process, and everyone (even children) can learn through your experience. As I mentioned earlier, I witnessed this firsthand early on in my career, and I firmly believe that it is imperative to have more than your partner as a support system during such a time. Everyone grieves differently. In the case of a miscarriage, the father/partner is typically hurting just as much as the mother, and the both of them need unique support to honor their healing processes. By allowing people whom you trust to be a part of this experience, you are allowing yourself to be loved, supported and to begin to heal immediately. Family, friends and your children will truly benefit from being a part of this sort of experience. Let’s face it, life does not always go as planned, and allowing your experiences of that to be shared in order to help others is truly a wonderful gift. Children who are informed about the realities of life (and death) thrive when the same sort of things happen to them, and others will, too. Choose what feels best for you, but don’t be afraid to share your REALITY with others.
- It is just as important to discuss the “hard” parts of life as it is to discuss the “good” stuff. Why have we decided that there is a level of safety in what we share? We think that we must portray ourselves as superhumans who are always okay, when in reality we all have “ups and downs” and they all make us who we are. By sharing our “dark” times, we help others through theirs, and that is just as important as being present for the “light”. Sometimes the first trimester SUCKS– you’re tired, you cry about everything, you can’t seem to stop puking your brains out, and it is perfectly normal and okay to share that in order to gain insight or simply to “get it out” and help you cope. Our culture has created an unrealistic idea that hiding things, sugarcoating and lying to try and make things look different than they are is normal and such behavior is often encouraged, however it is actually destructive and prevents growth and happiness to do so. If we want to live in a great world, we have to create it. Part of life is that sometimes things don’t go as planned, in some cases we would even deem our experiences as “awful”, but if we look at those “awful” experiences, they also helped to create who we are now, helped us learn new solutions to hardship, and to see with a larger lens, learning that things are never as “bad” as they seem. I know personally that my darkest times have truly been the most transformative, and by experiencing and overcoming them I am in turn able to help many others through their darkness. All of our experiences are important and none of them are shameful or “bad” until we deem them to be. Choose to allow yourself to experience and discuss ALL parts of your journey through pregnancy and life, and notice the relief and empowerment you feel to grow through ALL of it.
It is time to let go of the fear culture we have been raised in and rise up into a culture of sharing, and lovingly supporting one another. We fear what others (or ourselves) may think or say or that we may be judged if things go differently than the planned “ideal”, but our true power comes from OWNING all parts of our experiences and in turn teaching others to own theirs. Through empowering ourselves to share, be honest and clear, we also empower others. We are not alone in our bold endeavors, every time that we step away from fear and into love, we teach others that it is safe to do so. Step into love with your pregnancy. Share it with your support system as soon as YOU feel you’d like to– regardless of any outcome. Suppressing our experiences doesn’t help us to grow, it puts a heavy damper on our abilities to feel good, and we aren’t able to experience all parts of our lives. We are not saving anyone by lying or keeping things in. Nor do we need to try to “save” others or ourselves. We expand suffering when we don’t honor ourselves, so the answer is to surrender the old belief that there’s anything to be afraid of, and to step into the empowering truth that ALL experiences contribute to the whole, and by honoring that, we live peacefully with ourselves. Being pregnant begins the instant that you conceive, so honor your inclinations to share as early on as you feel and to enlist loving support and help through the TOTAL experience. Be sure to choose who you share with wisely (especially if you want to avoid unnecessary input or commentary), but SHARE. Be bold, and honor what feels best to you!
Thank you for reading. If you or someone you know is looking for more guidance on how to successfully and joyfully navigate the parenthood journey (pre-conception through parenthood), womanhood and healing the womb, please contact me here to learn more and get in touch with me for coaching sessions and full-service doula care in Denver, Co and BEYOND! And don’t forget to subscribe here https://birthpurpose.wordpress.com/contact/ to get updates and fun tips, tricks, meditations and more! What have your experiences with sharing your pregnancy been? How early did you choose to have support? Share your stories in the comments! Thank you so much for reading. Love, Muriel.