Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister in 2016, said she lost an infant in 2011. In the royal family, Zara Tindall, the queen’s granddaughter, said in 2018 that she had two miscarriages.
Leaders of three charities that provide support to parents after abortions said on Wednesday they would experience significant spikes in people seeking help when a public figure speaks. Losing a child is often an isolating experience, and because of the attention paid to the topic by public actors, people feel less alone, they said.
“People suddenly admit to themselves and others that they are hurt and in pain,” said Zoe Clark-Coates, managing director of the London-based Mariposa Trust.
Experts say the taboo is narrowing as more and more people speak out, but stigma still stops the debate. Experiencing the experience alone or with a small number of friends and family usually exacerbates the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This effect was amplified during the isolation required by the coronavirus epidemic, said Clea Harmer, CEO of London-based Sands. During the epidemic, the demand for support services increased, and people were less able to meet their loved ones for company.
“It made a very sad and devastating experience even worse and even harder,” he said.
Many parents turn to social media, either publicly or in closed Facebook groups, said Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Abortion Association, which provides support services in the UK. He said Meghan shared his experiences “generously” and the resulting discussion will help many people.
“It can be very valid when people hear how other people have felt – no matter what their condition is,” he said.