Miscarriage: A common experience, a private pain

Miscarriages are sad, private events, difficult to talk about. But they are not rare; Mayo Clinic reports they occur in 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies. Given how common they are, experts believe that open and honest dialogue about miscarriages can help mothers and partners grieve.

"Grief is very personal. It is experienced differently by different people, but there are a lot of common threads," said Annette Klein, a registered nurse. She leads a pregnancy and infant loss support group at Allina Health.

The group is open to women and their partners. After a miscarriage, many find it difficult to be around other people who are pregnant, or "leave public places with babies because it's just too painful," Klein explained. The group discusses strategies for handling that pain.

Most people attend for a year, Klein said, so they have support through difficult anniversaries or holidays like Mother's Day.

Klein and two other guests joined host Angela Davis for a discussion about what miscarriages are and how they affect mothers and partners.


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Annette Klein is a registered nurse. She has been in the field for 42 years. She facilitates a pregnancy and infant loss support group at Allina Health.

Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya is a psychologist who has been practicing for 39 years. She specializes in African-American mental health but can speak to grief and loss, especially for mothers.

Dr. Suzanne Darnell is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.