Beyoncé and other celebrities break the stigma of miscarriage
By Katie Doryland
One in four women experiences a miscarriage each year. For women over the age of 40, the percentage goes up even more — to nearly 50 percent.
The physical and psychological effects can last for months or even years after it happens. According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29 percent of women showed signs of post-traumatic stress a month after a pregnancy loss.
Yet even though countless women have experienced the pain of miscarriage, it is not often discussed in our culture. Recently though, a number of celebrities have opened up about their pregnancy struggles and loss.
Fans went wild at the 2017 Grammy Awards when Beyoncé dedicated her performance to “birth and motherhood” while dressed as a goddess on stage. In interviews after the awards show, reporters asked Beyoncé if she felt disappointed after not winning the Grammy Award that year. She responded that she had begun “to search for deeper meaning” in her life after having multiple miscarriages.
“Success looks different to me now. I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift. Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else.”
In March, pop singer Halsey opened up about miscarriage and her struggle with endometriosis. In interviews with The Guardian and on the popular medical show The Doctors, the 25-year-old pop star shared her story of a miscarriage while on tour. She explained that right before going out on stage for a concert, she realized that she was in the process of having a miscarriage, but did the show regardless.
“It’s the most inadequate I’ve ever felt,” she explained. “Here I am achieving this out-of-control life, and I can’t do the one thing I’m biologically put on this earth to do. Then I have to go onstage and be this sex symbol of femininity and empowerment? It is demoralizing.”
After surgery and a proper diagnosis, Halsey is optimistic.
“I am growing past it. I am looking forward to the possibilities the future will bring me in having my own family,” she Tweeted to fans.
Grammy award-winning country singer and songwriter Carrie Underwood is open about her miscarriages. Before the birth of her two boys, she suffered three miscarriages in nearly two years. She explains her conversations with God regarding these losses: “The miscarriages made me get real with God and say, ‘Ok, I’m kind of giving up a little bit. If this isn’t meant to happen, then I need to accept that and know that someday I’ll understand why.‘”
Despite being an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, popstar Pink openly shared her pregnancy loss in an interview with USA Today. Her first miscarriage happened when she was a 17-year-old teenager. She revealed she wrote some of her songs as a way to deal with the emotion and pain that came with the miscarriage. In her song Happy she sings,
“Since I was 17, I’ve always hated my body / and it feels like my body’s hated me”
“I’ve had several miscarriages since, so I think it’s important to talk about what you’re ashamed of, who you really are, and the painful [stuff],” she said.
Shawn Johnson East
In November 2019, former Olympic gymnast and gold-medalist Shawn Johnson East opened up about the loss of her first pregnancy. Johnson East expressed her feelings, saying she feared her years as a gymnast hindered her first pregnancy.
“I felt so sad and guilty that I had done something wrong to lose this child,” she said in her interview on the podcast Hot Marriage, Cool Parents.
But her doctor assured her it wasn’t her fault. Both Johnson East and her husband shared that their faith and family got them through the loss.
“No matter what you go through, you will always come out of it,” said Johnson East. “And I think if you believe in Him and have faith in Him, you’ll come out stronger than you were before.”
Johnson East and her husband now have an 8-month old daughter, Drew Hazel.
If you, or someone you know, has experienced the pain of a miscarriage, there are resources for hope and healing. Christian Care Connect can help you find a counselor in your area. Learn more here.