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Excerpt: Navigating Miscarriage

A striking feature of accounts of and literature on miscarriage is the trope of silence. The slogan of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which began in the UK sixteen years ago, is ‘Break the silence’. . . Approaches to miscarriage have changed dramatically and the silence has steadily eroded in much of Euro-America, as evidenced not only by the introduction of such awareness days and other public forums to articulate feelings of loss, but also by recent campaigns to provide certificates of life for miscarried foetuses under 24 weeks’ gestation; a growing market for miscarriage memorials; and shifts in medical practice, including changes to disposal practices. Read more.

From the introduction of Navigating Miscarriage, “Ambiguities and Navigations” by Susie Kilshaw 

15 October is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Concluding Baby Loss Awareness Week, this commemorative day offers a day of remembrance to parents, family, and friends for pregnancy loss and infant death. In honor of this day, we are offering free access to Chapter 1 of Navigating Miscarriage edited by Susie Kilshaw and Katie Borg.

Read Chapter 1, “Does Twenty-First-Century Technology Change the Experience of Early Pregnancy and Miscarriage?” below.

About the book

Social, Medical and Conceptual Perspectives
Edited by Susie Kilshaw and Katie Borg
Vol. 45, Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

“This is an interesting collection of chapters developing anthropological perspectives around miscarriage and pregnancy loss from a wide variety of angles.” • Sara Randall, University College London

“The book’s major strength is the diverse approaches to pregnancy loss, across countries and healthcare systems, traced by the contributors — offering a timely contribution to the social study of reproduction.” • Ben Kasstan, University of Sussex

Miscarriage is a significant women’s health issue. Research has consistently shown that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. This collected volume explores miscarriage in diverse historical and cultural settings with contributions from anthropologists, historians and medical professionals. Contributors use rich ethnographic and historical material to discuss how pregnancy loss is managed and negotiated in a range of societies. The book considers meanings attached to miscarriage and how religious, cultural, medical and legal forces impact the way miscarriage is experienced and perceived.

View more volumes in the Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality Series here.