Jessica Zucker is a clinical psychologist who has been hearing stories of clients’ pregnancy loss for many years.
But when she suffered her own miscarriage three years ago, at 16 weeks into her pregnancy, she began to understand the heartbreaking experience from a whole new perspective.
This week marks the start of Never Forgotten: Mamamia’s Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week. Post continues below.
She realised, for example, that women struggled to talk honestly to one another about loss — a void that risks leaving women feeling alone, unsupported and even ashamed.
“I’ve heard so many people say that people came up to them and said: ‘it’s part of God’s plan, everything happens for a reason, or you’ll have a better outcome next time…” she tells Mamamia.
“People are just so uncomfortable with the topic of pregnancy loss, and so ill-equipped to know what to do, that there just isn’t really any etiquette around it.”
Dr Zucker is now seeking to change all of that. She’s just launched a line of beautiful “empathy cards” specifically meant for women who have endured pregnancy loss, whether in the form of miscarriage, stillbirth or late termination due to health issues.
The beautiful cards each take a different approach to empathy.
One simply says: “I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I’m here always.”
Another declares in rather bolder tones: “#FuckLoss”.
One of the most popular cards, Dr Zucker says, acknowledges the difficulties associated with falling pregnant after a miscarriage.
“The card that is about pregnancy after pregnancy loss is probably the most revolutionary of the bunch, because I’d never seen anything like it,” Dr Zucker — who herself fell pregnant about four months after her miscarriage — says.
“It really acknowledges that pregnancy after you’ve had a loss is just different than before you’ve had a loss. That’s been selling a lot, which is interesting.”
Some of the other cards (post continues after gallery):
Dr Zucker, who also initiated the hashtag #ihadamiscarriage with a New York Times piece that went viral last year, says she hopes her cards mean that “women will feel less alone, women will feel more connected, women will notice that the statistic is affecting so many people”.
“What I’m trying to do now is normalise the grief specific to pregnancy loss — so that hopefully some day, by the time my kids have children, it won’t be something that people are quiet about. Hopefully, people will be able to get the support that they need,” she says.
Dr Zucker says she hopes these cards, along with the sender’s handwritten message inside, can help provide women with “connection after loss”.
“I love that people have to take the time to write a personal note that the receiver can then save if they want to and read again,” she says. “It’s not just an email or whatever; there’s something just so intimate about the note.”
Brava, Dr Zucker. We can’t wait for a world where women feel supported to talk as openly as they need about their loss.
You can visit Dr Zucker’s website to buy the cards here. They are also available in select stores across Los Angeles.
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