Dr. Jessica Zucker understands the painful journey of experiencing a miscarriage not only because she's a psychologist specializing in women's reproductive and maternal health, but because she's experienced this deep loss firsthand. Having lost her first baby at 16 weeks, the psychologist quickly noticed that although friends and family wanted to help, they didn't seem to quite know how.
She tells Time magazine, "I got this sense that people didn't have the tools to come toward me but instead seemed to move away from me." And she appears to be right. Although almost 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, public perception has it seeming like a much more rare occurrence. So Zucker decided to do something about it.
In 2014 the doctor launched the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign to kickstart a more open conversation about pregnancy loss in general and what we can do to support loved ones who have experienced a miscarriage. And now, in recognition of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month this October, she's created a line of miscarriage sympathy cards that conveys everything that people are often too afraid to say out loud.
"When grandparents die, we typically know what to do—we send flowers, we send cards, we bring food, and that's that," says Zucker. "And this is so different. People really struggle when it comes to fertility; so much can go wrong." The cards can be purchased for $4.50 on Zucker's website and in select stores in Los Angeles.
"My aim here is a cultural one and a political one," Zucker says. "And I think that the more we open up about our experiences and dispel the shame, the closer people can feel to one another. "
And something seems to be working. With more public figures talking publicly about their miscarriage from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the polarizing YouTube couple Sam and Nia, people are realizing they're not alone and that there's an entire community of women and men that have been there too.