‘Harry & Meghan’ — why did Meghan Markle miscarry? | Opinion

what did i do wrong? This is often the first thought of women who have had a miscarriage.

Recently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were driven by that pernicious impulse. It tells women that they are somehow responsible for the viability of their pregnancy.

In the Netflix series Harry and Meghan, Prince Harry talked about his wife Meghan Markle’s stress and insomnia, blaming her marital quarrel with the British tabloid Daily Mail.

“I think the email caused my wife to have a miscarriage. I watched it all,” Harry said in the documentary.

“Are you fully aware that the miscarriage was caused by it? Of course not,” he added. “[But]given the stress that caused the lack of sleep, and the timing of the pregnancy and how many weeks she was, I can say that the miscarriage was caused by what they were trying to do.” .”

That’s one way of looking at it. But it may not be accurate.

Emily Oster, in her best-selling data-driven pregnancy book, Expecting Better, reveals that 90% of miscarriages are caused by chromosomal problems present at conception.

Older women are also more likely to miscarry, explains Oster. How likely are you? The miscarriage rate for women under the age of 20 is only 4.4%. For women over 35 (Markle’s age during this pregnancy), the percentage is almost 19%.

Oster says: The answer is probably not. ”

Some studies have shown that stress can be a factor in miscarriage, but it’s important to properly classify the level of stress. We’re not talking about the stress celebrities go through at the hands of the tabloids, or even the family drama surrounding Markle’s fight with the Mail. speaking.

A study on Israeli miscarriage rates in the border town of Sderot, a frequent target of missile attacks, found that “spontaneous abortions were more likely to occur when exposed to rocket attacks compared to women who did not experience this stress during or before pregnancy. %) for Sderot compared to 4.7% for Kiryat Gat. Even in a real conflict zone scenario, this is not a significant increase in risk.

No doubt, the past few years have been a trying and emotional time for Harry and his wife, but that fact probably has nothing to do with Markle’s ability to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.

The message that external factors such as stress and sleep deprivation contribute to miscarriage is not only ostensibly wrong, but it is also amid a social shift to downplay miscarriage and try to comfort women who have experienced miscarriage. And it’s also a toxic one. We need to tell women the truth. Women have done nothing wrong and miscarriage is a common, irresponsible tragedy. Instead, the Duke and Duchess set us back with the inaccurate notion that women are responsible and responsible for the viability of their unborn child.

Whitney Morgan, Ph.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a board-certified pediatrician in Texas, spoke of the self-responsibility women often blame themselves for in other aspects of motherhood. I see the same thing almost every day with new mothers who feel they weren’t able to give birth properly because they had a baby or had a life-saving C-section.”

The emotional toll of guilt is one of the hardest parts of navigating motherhood, and has always been. I feel guilty now. They ranged from “I banged my head while putting my baby in the car seat,” to “I exploded at my child in a hormonal rage,” to “I left a knife on the counter and my toddler sewed. I needed it,” and so on. as a result. ” There are so many things we beat ourselves up about. Motherhood can feel like walking through a minefield where one wrong step can lead to lifelong suffering and trauma.

With celebrity influence comes responsibility, and that influence should be used carefully. That is not what happened in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their criticism of British tabloid culture. It has also damaged cultural discourse.

Bethany Mandel is a contributing writer for Deseret News. She is a homeschooled mother of her six children and a widely published author on politics, culture, and Judaism. She is the editor of the children’s book series “Heroes of Liberty”.

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