MOTHERHOOD – “The only thing we’re told when we get pregnant is, ‘Don’t say it too soon, just in case,'” explains Sandra Lorenzo, member of the ‘Miscarriage, True Experience’ collective published at the beginning of a column in The world Sunday March 27th. “Just in case”: an expression that sums up the omerta around miscarriage in France in three words.
Entitled “Let’s put an end to the expression ‘having a miscarriage’, because nothing is wrong and everything is true”, the platform of the six founders (Judith Aquien, Fanny de Font-Réaulx, Mathilde Lemiesle, Sandra Lorenzo, Anna N’ Diaye, Paloma Stefani) of the collective challenges the taboo of “natural abortions”. In France, every fourth pregnancy ends in the first trimester.
“We all necessarily know someone close to us who has gone through this ordeal, whether it’s a mother, sister, cousin, friend or even a neighbor,” stressed für The HuffPost Journalist Sandra Lorenzo, author of A miscarriage like no other.
Use the term “natural abortion”
In order for miscarriages to be recognized as a social problem, the collective is committed to speaking of a “natural termination of pregnancy”. Sandra Lorenzo explains: “There has been a lot of thought about the use of the term miscarriage. His interest is in being an expression that is understood by all, but it remains problematic in many ways.” “Just the expression ‘having a miscarriage’ sounds like it was a voluntary act. I would rather say that we cross it or that we go through it,” the journalist continues. The collective specifies in the forum that the expression “feels guilty and makes one invisible”.
Indeed, going through a natural termination of pregnancy means facing silence and isolation. “It’s difficult because it doesn’t exist. We confiscate the emotions that are crossed,” supports Sandra Lorenzo. Especially since miscarriages mostly occur in the first trimester, “when you shouldn’t be talking about the pregnancy.”
“When it happened to me, I knew it existed, but to me it was science fiction. I really wondered what was going to happen,” the journalist recalls.
“A moment of fragility”
“But that’s anything but trivial,” the forum recalls. “It’s a fragile moment for women. For example, many of them say they have suffered obstetric violence. You may be poorly received in emergencies, less well considered. Especially since the care takes place in the maternity ward, where we are surrounded by round bellies,” explains Sandra Lorenzo.
Given the lack of information and support, the group’s first call is for a national multimedia information campaign to be launched. Sandra Lorenzo reiterates: “We don’t want to scare, we just want to say that pregnancy is possible. The more we know, the less helpless we will be.”
Work stoppage and psychological aftercare
Among the other proposed measures, the group is calling for the introduction of a paid work stoppage of at least three days for women and their spouses, and the possibility of reimbursed psychological follow-up. “I’m amazed at how many women experience this ordeal at work. It’s not just a sputum, it’s also contractions, bleeding…” testifies the author. “There is also a lot of testimony that the partner is pushed aside at the time of the miscarriage. We didn’t look at him, we didn’t talk to him. It can be difficult to live with, especially in the PMA classes,” she adds.
The group also wants a booklet on natural abortion to be made available in every maternity ward and that teaching on the subject be included in sex education courses. Finally, she proposes the establishment of special training courses for midwives and gynaecologists/obstetricians and an increase in hospital budgets for better management of natural abortions.
“The better we are accompanied, the more likely we are not to be traumatized,” concludes Sandra Lorenzo, who nonetheless remembers that every experience is different. In addition to the platform signed by a hundred personalities, a petition for support is available online. She has already collected almost 4,000 signatures.
See also on The HuffPost: “The miscarriage, this mother went through it alone, despite the care of those around her”