This Mom's Tattoo About Her Miscarriage Is Helping Destroy A Taboo

June 21st 2016

Taylor Bell

For a lot women, miscarriages can be difficult to talk about. But one California woman is breaking down this taboo.

After having a miscarriage recently, Joan B., shared her story on social media in an effort to spark conversation about the common painful experience that often happens to expectant mothers. (According to SELF, Joan B. decided not to give her real name due to privacy concerns.)

It all started when Joan posted this image of her new tattoo on Imgur.

Joan B. miscarriage tattoo

The tattoo, which shows an outline of a pregnant woman, was a way to commemorate her lost baby.

“I wanted to get a tattoo to kind of remember and be able to heal and move on,” Joan told SELF Magazine. “It would be my tribute to this baby that we wanted but unfortunately didn’t last.”

According to Joan, the tattoo became a way to break down the taboo and shame that often accompanies miscarriages.

“It’s sort of a conversation piece, because I know people don’t want to talk about miscarriages, and it’s really taboo,” Joan told SELF. “But for me, I’m not really ashamed that it happened. It was another life experience even though it was a bad life experience. I don’t want to forget and I don’t want to pretend it didn’t happen.”

The image has resonated with many people.

In the comment section, people offered their condolences as well as shared their own experiences having a miscarriage.

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"10-15 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage," according to the American Pregnancy Association. But despite the high number and emotional turmoil of miscarriages, women are often hesitant to discuss the issue.

"It hits the headlines when a celebrity has a miscarriage or when there is some new piece of research, otherwise it is not a headline grabber," Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, told the Guardian. "People aren't comfortable with it, whether it is the loss, the sadness, the vulnerability, the disappointment, the self-blame. Equally it is difficult on those you are telling. Many women who suffer a miscarriage have not told many people [they are pregnant] anyway, so after the miscarriage, when they are feeling desperate, they are having to 'tell' and 'untell' in a way. It's a tough one."

[h/t SELF]