Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's pregnancy may feel 'bittersweet' after their miscarriage, midwives say
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their second baby following a miscarriage last year.
- Midwives told Insider it will likely be a 'bittersweet celebration' for the couple.
- "They may feel guilty for being excited while grieving a sibling," said Sophie King.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting another baby, the couple announced on Valentine's Day.
The happy news comes three months after the Duchess of Sussex said she had suffered a miscarriage in July 2020.In a New York Times essay published in November, Markle described the emotional pain as "an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," as Insider's Anna Medaris Miller reported.
And it's likely that being pregnant again following such a traumatic experience will be a "bittersweet" celebration, according to midwives.
"It's wonderful news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting again - but as we know they sadly lost a baby last year, this celebration may feel bittersweet, while their pregnancy journey stirs up heart-breaking memories and complex emotions," said midwife Sophie King from Tommy's, a charity specializing in researching the causes and prevention of pregnancy complications, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and neonatal death.King continued: "Any expectant or new parent may struggle with anxiety, but it can be hard for those who have lost babies to believe that won't happen again, or they may feel guilty for being excited about a new arrival while grieving a sibling."
The combination of grief, pregnancy, and parenting can be incredibly challenging."Children born after loss are often called 'rainbow babies' to symbolize hope and light after a dark time, but it's important to remember that a rainbow doesn't erase the storm that came before it," King said.It's normal to feel conflicted if you become pregnant again after a miscarriage, and it's likely Markle and Harry will be feeling a mixture of joy and excitement but also anxiety and grief.
King told Insider that there's no one way to feel for parents in the Duke and Duchess' situation, so it's important to be kind to yourself.
"We're all different so the only advice that will apply to everyone is to focus on your physical and mental health, doing things you enjoy or find relaxing," she said. "Talk to someone you're close to, or release emotions into a journal, but don't keep things in - asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, so reach out for support if you need it."While traditionally women have been told not to announce their pregnancies until they reach the 12-week mark due to risk of loss, an increasing number of expectant parents have recently been sharing their news earlier in a bid to combat the taboo around miscarriage - according to Tommy's midwifery manager Kate Marsh, one in four pregnancies end in loss.
This stigma, Marsh said, "feeds into awful misconceptions about mothers being to blame for their loss and 'jinxing it' by sharing too soon."
"Some people going through loss find it harder to open up and ask for support when nobody knew they were pregnant yet, but others tell us how the pain of their grief was made worse by having to tell loved ones they wouldn't get to meet their longed-for baby," Marsh said. "Some prefer to grieve privately while others want to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Any pregnancy journey is full of deeply personal choices and, in a social media age, expectant parents have to make decisions about this too; there's no right or wrong way."
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