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Binky Felstead: 'We need to break the stigma around miscarriage'

By Lindsay Brown
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBinky Felstead has spoken out about her miscarriage

Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead says she wants to "break the stigma" around miscarriage and open up conversations about baby loss.

Lots of the influencer's followers and friends got in touch with her after she posted on Instagram about losing her baby.

The 30-year-old told Newsbeat many of those people had never talked about their own miscarriages.

"It's heart-breaking, so I felt that I'd like to try and break the stigma."

About one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and it's most common in the first three months of pregnancy.

After 24 weeks, it's known as stillbirth.

Binky says her miscarriage happened when she was almost 12 weeks pregnant.

She had two early scans which showed "a strong heartbeat", but at the third scan she was told there wasn't a heartbeat at all.

"It's such important issue to raise because no-one really talks about it," she says.

"It's almost like it's a taboo subject."

View this post on Instagram

I’ve thought long and hard about doing this post, but I felt that if I can pass on any warmth, comfort or help to anybody in the same position - well that would be great. It’s only fair that I share some of my “downs” as well as my “up” moments. Today would have been my 18 week mark, but sadly we had an early miscarriage just before 12 weeks. Not only was this heartbreaking for us, but it also came as such a shock to me. I hadn’t realised until then how blessed I was with having such a relatively straight forward pregnancy with India - I’ll admit I was naive enough to assume the next one would be as straightforward, but I had two early scans as I was concerned I was bleeding. They found a ‘very strong’ heartbeat. However, on the third scan I was told ‘I’m afraid there’s no heartbeat’. I was told by my doctor that 1 in 4 pregnancies miscarry (not that statistics make it any easier!) With 82% of my following being women - that means roughly 237,800 women “following” me could (or have) experienced the same, which is just so sad. When speaking to a few close friends about our situation, we learned that some of them too have had miscarriages in the past. I asked them why they’ve never said anything, and they just said they felt they couldn't, or shouldn’t talk about it. Almost like it’s a taboo subject, which is heartbreaking. If you have been through this, I hope you are giving yourself time to mentally and physically heal and do what you need. I keep reminding myself that there was nothing I could have done, and perhaps this was nature’s way of saying that for whatever reason, this little soul wasn’t ready for the world. Sending so so much love 🤍🙏🏼 I later learned that @miscarriageassociation is available to help anyone who has/is experiencing this. It’s a national charity that provides support and information for anyone who’s affected by miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, this includes both women and men. You can call their helpline or talk to them on live chat or even message them on Instagram, and they will do whatever they can to help you through. See #babylossawarenessweek

A post shared by BINKY FELSTEAD (@binkyfelstead) on

She adds: "It's obviously deeply personal, incredibly emotional and physically tiring.

"In all honesty the last thing you want to do is talk about it."

Binky told Newsbeat that she and partner Max Darnton made the decision to post about her miscarriage because her followers deserved to see her "reality".

"I've always shared my happy moments, from when I got pregnant with India, when I had India and my engagement last month.

"I don't think it's reality - or that it's fair - that I don't share my down time as well.

"The one piece of advice I feel that I can give is to make sure you allow yourself to physically and emotionally heal."

  • What to say to someone who's lost a baby

Since Binky's post, the Miscarriage Association says it's been inundated with phone calls from women.

"It's really helpful when someone well-known like Binky talks publicly about her experience of miscarriage because it's not an easy thing to do," says Ruth Bender-Atik from the Miscarriage Association..

"For some reason it's still a taboo and it can be difficult to talk about.

"Sometimes you feel like you could have done better, lots of people feel like it's because they've done something wrong and that they could have done something.

"It's hard to talk about, but it really helps if we can get miscarriage talked about more."

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact for women who have had a miscarriage.

Charities say it's complicated grief, with partners unable to always attend appointments and scans.

There have been some changes to official NHS guidance, but it's still an issue for many.

"Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, feelings of isolation have become more widespread than ever and many people have begun to talk more openly about grief," Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity (SANDS) said.

"Many of those whose baby died during the pandemic will not have been able to spend time making memories or saying goodbye to their baby in the way they would have wanted to.

"Now more than ever, we can all come together to let those affected by pregnancy and baby loss know they are not alone and that we are all here to support them."

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Related Topics

  • Miscarriage

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  • What to say to someone who's lost a baby