This week is baby loss awareness week. I’m all for speaking out and #misCOURAGE as I often write about my experiences with a 10 week and 21 week miscarriage. It is definitely a good thing for more people to talk about it because even if nobody is listening, it means the information is out there should somebody search for it.
I generally don’t see the point in ‘raising awareness’ because your audience tends to be… people that are already aware. Breastfeeding, the only people getting involved in campaigns are already aware and they are only communicating with other breastfeeding mothers. No new people are joining the awareness club if anything it tends to have a negative impact on people who otherwise couldn’t care less. For example a couple of years ago when there was that mass feed outside parliament or wherever it was. All of the mothers protesting were already aware and every innocent member of the public either continued to mind their own business still ignorant and unaware of whatever the issue was or they just found the whole spectacle rather unnecessary and annoying.
So I come back to, what does raising awareness ever achieve?
The ideal situation would be to eliminate ignorance of whatever we’re raising awareness for but that simply doesn’t happen.
When I post baby loss awareness updates, blogs, pictures etc (which I will continue to do) there aren’t many reactions available.
- The reader was already aware and feels sorry and wishes more could be done.
- The reader was already aware but remains ignorant – (she’s still banging on about that?)
- The reader was unaware and is now saddened by the statistics but is helpless.
- The reader was unaware and now remains unaffected, ignorant and not bothered by the stories.
The only way raising awareness can be truly effective is if information is shared and the ‘taboo’ aspect of baby loss is eliminated. If every time I wrote a blog or shared a picture if the people that read it engaged with it, i.e comments, liked or shared, then that is a step in the right direction because even if it hasn’t affected you, you’re making it ok to talk about.
It makes other people comment on your share whether it’s a ‘story’ or a lengthy comment sharing their story or their sisters story. And the positive thing that this sharing and talking does, is make the miscourage mommas feel like they’re not on their own and it wasn’t their fault.
I also find that the ignorance to baby loss is worse when people discuss pregnancy and just assume everything is fine and two things that really do nothing for awareness of baby loss are;
- Bratty moms talking about how they’re really broody and reckon they could squeeze another one in. Like they’ve decided they will just pop down the chemist and buy a new one. When I read ‘Baby number 3?” blogs or discussions I’m sitting there thinking my god you are so ignorant to assume that it is a decision you can make because you’ve decided you want. You sound like bratty little girls. Sorry if that’s harsh but think about it…
- Old wives tales. I generally do not fit in with other moms for many reasons but I often find myself sitting out of discussions because I’d rather be the quiet one than the one who has insulted and ranted at everyone. If you want to care about baby loss and ‘raise awareness’ women need to stop telling their pregnant friends bullshit old wives tales such as; heartbeat is a detector of gender, girls kick more, boy bumps are all at the front, girl bumps are low or whatever shite you’re telling them because your bump was this shape and you had a girl.
Old wives tales are utter bullshit with no medical substance. Anybody that has been through baby loss will report that there was a change in their bump shape, a change in movements and for me personally -a change in my cravings. It is very bad form as a friend or fellow mother to be going around telling people that because they’re craving sweets its a girl – if that is new it could be the sign of a problem. If your bump suddenly changes it is not a sign of little tiny balls, it could be a sign of foetal distress.
Bumps are determined by your weight and muscle mass – not baby gender. If we keep telling women that we can predict gender based on crap then it is potentially very damaging and could prevent women getting help at the first sign of a problem.
I know this is a rant post but if we are actually going to raise awareness it is important to speak some truths and highlight the innocent damage being caused everyday. People are ignorant to baby loss which to some extent I do understand, if you’ve never been affected by it why should you get involved but then just don’t get involved at all. Keep your fluffy fairy stories to yourself.
Why is it ok to tell your friend, ‘my sister had a front bump and it was a girl‘ but if I said to someone, ‘ my bump dropped and I lost my baby‘ that would be negative and miserable even though the latter could potentially identify a problem and save a life?
To truly raise awareness, we need to speak the truth…