Mental Health After Pregnancy Loss

TW: stillbirth and miscarriage, depression

Edit: After this blog was published, it was confirmed that Chrissy suffered a miscarriage, not a stillbirth. Just wanted to clarify.

Last week, Chrissy Teigan and John Legend announced the heartbreaking news that they’d suffered pregnancy loss with their third baby who they named Jack. Just devastating.

Chrissy has shared before that the couple has had fertility issues as well as miscarriages, and unfortunately, this loss came after she was hospitalized for bleeding. She was around 20 weeks along.

I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to lose a baby, especially after all the loss they’ve already endured. But I imagine it’s unbelievable pain to say the very least.

Chrissy isn’t alone in experiencing pregnancy loss. The CDC reports that about 1 pregnancy in 100 at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later is affected by stillbirth, and each year about 24,000 babies are still born in the U.S. I’m not sure exactly how far along Chrissy was, but it sounds like baby Jack was considered stillborn. Anything before 20 weeks is a miscarriage.

The March of Dimes report that about 10 to 15 in 100 pregnancies (10 to 15 percent) end in miscarriage

My worry for moms like Chrissy is the increased risk of depression following the loss (women who have miscarriages also face a risk for depression). According to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health, depression is more common in women who have a stillbirth (14.8 percent) compared to women who delivered a healthy baby (8.3 percent). Women with an established diagnosis of depression don’t see a major increase.

It seems cruel that women have to deal with such an awful disease following such tragedy. It’s even more cruel when women have to deal with the stigma associated with pregnancy loss. Often, women are encouraged not to share their story and loss, which can lead to isolation and intensity in depression symptoms. It’s especially harmful if the stigma is being perpetuating by their family and friends — then there’s just no outlet for their grief.

That’s why I’m glad Chrissy and John are speaking out about their experience. There’s no logical reason to keep quiet about something so life-changing — something that happens to A LOT of people. I praise them in what they’re doing to help normalize pregnancy loss and miscarriage. Maybe it will encourage others to share their own grief.

I hope and pray for Chrissy and John’s entire family. I pray for everyone who has had to go through this gut-wrenching tragedy.

If you have experienced a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, please visit the Share website, a site dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact your doctor or call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Here are depression symptoms to look for following a miscarriage or stillbirth:

  • feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • being irritable or frustrated
  • losing interest or enjoyment in most or all regular activities
  • feeling unusually tired and having a lack of energy
  • sleeping too little or too much
  • eating too little or too much
  • feeling anxious, restless, or distressed
  • feeling worthless or guilty
  • having difficulty focusing, remembering things, and making decisions
  • thoughts of death or suicide
  • making suicide attempts
  • having random aches and pains that don’t go away, even after treatment

2 thoughts on “Mental Health After Pregnancy Loss

  1. This is so spot on. My husband and I actually suffered a loss a couple of weeks ago. The stigma associated with miscarriages and infertility in general not only makes it so difficult to feel any sense of support, it also makes sharing so incredibly awkward. Most of the people I love the most don’t even know, and I’m not sure how I would even begin to tell them. Chrissys willingness to share truly does give me a sense of companionship, if that’s even the right word. It makes this whole situation feel a little less lonely.

    1. Heather Loeb – I suffer with Major Depressive Disorder, anxiety and a personality disorder. I hope to end the stigma of depression and normal mental illness.
      Heather Loeb says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for reading. Sending you love

Hit me up