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Mother’s day has just been and gone here in the UK this weekend – for the vast majority, that likely meant sorting cards and flowers, maybe a big family get-together over a roast dinner, and spending quality time in mum’s company. It can be a bittersweet day for some though, particularly those whose path to motherhood was a long and bumpy one, such as our podcast guest this week, Jennie Agg.
‘The Uterus Monologues’ was the blog started by Jennie in 2017, after she suffered two miscarriages in succession. As a journalist focused on science & medicine, her writing featured in newspapers and lifestyle magazines on myriad topics surrounding health and well-being, but the blog allowed Jennie to focus on her own particular issue, one that is, if not quite taboo, still considered by many as too difficult to talk about in any detail.
In recent years, more and more women in the public eye have used their platforms to highlight the difficulties and issues faced by miscarriage sufferers. In carrying out research for her recently published book - ‘Life, Almost - Miscarriage, misconceptions and a search for answers from the brink of motherhood’ – Jennie has found that, despite celebrities opening up about their experiences and helping raise awareness, far too many women are being left to suffer in silence; official records are sparse, but numerous studies indicate as many as one in four pregnancies worldwide can result in miscarriage, with up to one in five women going on to suffer PTSD-like symptoms as a result of their experiences.
Whilst picking up awards for her professionally published pieces, The Uterus Monologues would go on to become something of a support network over the coming years; sadly, Jennie would endure two further miscarriages, consequently making use of the blog to share her stories, alongside the thoughts, fears and feelings of so many other women in similar scenarios to her own.
Here in the UK, it’s possible that women are at a disadvantage in terms of investment into healthcare – a recently published strategy for women’s health in England gives consideration to fertility and reproductive health, but given that pregnancy and any potential miscarriage also involves (and has an impact on) the father-to-be too, there’s disappointment in some circles that the strategy doesn’t take a more holistic view on sexual and reproductive health.
Miscarriage is a traumatic experience for all involved, but it’s going to take all of us talking about it honestly and openly for there to be progress in treating the causes of, and subsequent symptoms of, this tragically all too common event
We’d like to thank Jennie Agg for her enlightening and honest discussion on this week’s Tea with the Changemakers – listen to the podcast here: