NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Close to a million women have miscarriages every year, yet it’s barely talked about.
Actress Laura Benanti, who plays the mother of Supergirl on the new CBS show, is bravely speaking out after having a miscarriage two weeks ago with the hope that other women will do the same.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, she wasn’t sure how to talk about it, but she knew she had to.
“There’s a little heart beat, and you see it and you hear it. And then literally that day I started cramping and bleeding, and I knew what was happening and I couldn’t stop it,” she said.
The 36-year-old said the “M” word — miscarriage — makes people uncomfortable, but why?
“This was my fiance’s baby too. It effected him too. It’s not just me. If we as a culture can talk about it then it’s healing in some way,” Benanti said.
“After this happened to me, I spoke with women I felt relatively close to, who had experienced the same thing, and I had never even known. The most common response I was given after telling someone I had just experienced the big M was, ‘This is SO common. This happens to SO many women,'” Benanti said in an op-ed online. “Why do we not talk about this more?”
Dr. Jill M. Rabin, with North Shore LIJ, said, “Women can feel tremendous amounts of psychological burden, guilt, shame, and anxiety.”
And the best way to heal is to talk about it because it is more common than you think, Baker reported.
Dr. Rabin said most people underestimate the number of women who have had a miscarriage.
The reality is that 10 to 15 percent of women under 30 miscarry and 30 to 40 percent of women in their 30s have lost a pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Just as important, Dr. Rabin said you should immediately get checked by your doctor to find out why you had a miscarriage, so then you at least have some answers and understanding.
“Once people know the cause of the miscarriage, they might feel a little bit less bad,” Dr. Rabin said. “The most common reason that women have miscarriages is because of fetal chromosomal anomalies. In other words, a genetic problem.”
“It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to make it happen. You don’t have to suffer in silence,” Benanti said.
The actress said often people don’t know how to react to the news of a miscarriage, but no words are necessary; just a hug or a kind word is support enough.