Lindsey Cooper
Lindsey Cooper

Psychologist Jessica Zucker, who had a second trimester miscarriage, started an Instagram account to share women's stories of pregnancy loss

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July 26, 2017 03:27 PM

Women are sharing their powerful stories of pregnancy loss on the Instagram account @IHadAMiscarriage formed to “destigmatize, deshame, desilence a very important, ubiquitous topic,” the creator, psychologist Jessica Zucker, tells PEOPLE.

The account began as a campaign in 2014, two years after Zucker had a second trimester miscarriage that spawned a line of sympathy cards and pushed forward her work in reproductive and maternal mental health. But once Zucker started the Instagram account in Oct. 2015, it took on new life.

“It’s really been a community builder,” she says of the account. “It’s been really overwhelming in a positive way. It shows how hungry women are for connection when it comes to pregnancy loss.”

Zucker solicits stories and photos from women who want to share their feelings about miscarriages, stillborn births and other types of pregnancy loss, and also shares images that she finds moving.

“For me, it’s really important that the page be beautiful,” she says. “And I make sure the page is really representative of all women everywhere. Pregnancy loss knows nothing of race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, educational background — any of it. So I want women to be able to come to the page and see themselves.”

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Zucker wants women to know that pregnancy loss is far more common than people realize, something one Instagrammer shared on the account.

“I lost this baby a year ago. It’s finally come full circle, but the healing has seemingly just begun,” Elisia of @moonsproutmama writes. “I’m sharing this to kill the stigma. To do away with the anxiety that creeps in daily. To silence the what ifs that continue to haunt me. I’m sharing this to end the self blame + shame. We are 1 in 4.”

“All week my body has been preparing itself for labor. Phantom contractions and a feeling of wanting to retreat. My mind tells me it’s not real, that you died some time ago, but my body tells me I’m ready to birth you. That I’ve reached nine months and now you’re ready to fall earth side. Except you aren’t,” writes another mom, @thewildandher.

FROM PEN:Figure Skating Star Nancy Kerrigan Opens Up About Her 6 Miscarriages

 Zucker says her goal is to change the conversation around pregnancy loss.

“It would be great, in my lifetime, if culture changes around this topic,” she says. “I don’t know what begets what. Is it the silence that begets the shame and stigma, or is it the stigma that begets the silence and the shame? These three things all impact each other. So my hope is this is a conversation that people can feel comfortable having without berating themselves or feeling a sense of shame.”

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