In October, Chrissy Teigen publicly shared her devastating pregnancy loss with the world. While some criticized her for her openness, the vast majority of people expressed their deepest sympathies, as well as their heartfelt gratitude. In sharing her experience, she helped so many people who have experienced pregnancy loss feel less alone—an invaluable gift that has profound implications for so many.
Once again, Teigen is using her platform to normalize the conversation around pregnancy loss, as well as body acceptance.
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In an Instagram post sharing a full-body profile shot, Teigen wrote, "This is me and my body, just yesterday. Even though I'm no longer pregnant, every glance in the mirror reminds me of what could have been. And I have no idea why I still have this bump, honestly. It's frustrating. But I'm proud of where this entire journey took my body and mind in other ways. I love being pregnant, so so much, and I'm sad I never will be again. But I am lucky to have two amazing little ones who are transforming into big little people more and more every single day. Anyhoo. Love u guys. Xx"
The world just became a little bit gentler.
Teigen's post matters for four reasons:
One in four women experience a miscarriage or loss, and yet our society is still so uncomfortable talking about it. When people like Teigen share their stories, it helps to transform our mindsets and lets others know that they are welcome to share as well, if they want to.
2. She is reminding us that grief takes time.
Her pregnancy loss was almost three months ago, yet her heartache is still present—and that's completely normal. Grief is uncomfortable and so often we want to rush through it, whether we are experiencing a loss first hand or supporting a loved one through their loss. But grief cannot be rushed, and healing is not linear. Many people who have had a loss (of any kind) describe the winding nature of the healing process; there are good days and bad days, and how we cycle through them is often unpredictable.
We need to give ourselves and each other grace. We need to compassionately let people know that we are here for them—and will continue to be here, even if their healing takes longer than we wish it would. And, we need to remember that we are not alone in the healing journey. There are mental health providers who can support our journeys when we need them.
3. She is shedding light on normal physiological processes.
It is normal for bodies to still "look" pregnant after pregnancy—whether the pregnancy ends in a loss or not. It can take months (or longer) for bellies to flatten and for weight to be lost. In addition to the uterus growth, the ligaments and muscles that support the uterus stretch and change as well. Weight may be gained, bodies may shift and change, breasts may swell—and all of this takes time to return to "normal."
It can be incredibly difficult to see the physical manifestations of a pregnancy after a pregnancy loss. Again, being incredibly gentle with ourselves and seeking mental health support as needed can help.
4. She reminded us to be careful with our words.
How many of us have been asked if we were pregnant when we were not? Or blurted out "When are you due?!" only to have the panicked thought, "Oh no… what if they're not?"
It's human nature to want to share in people's joy—but we really should never ask someone if they are pregnant. People may 'have a bump' for a number of reasons; they may be postpartum, they may have a large fibroid in the uterus, or, as in Teigen's case, they may be suffering from a recently lost pregnancy.
Let's not comment on people's bodies. If the person wants to tell you what's going on with their body, they will.
We are sending profound thanks to Teigen for once again normalizing pregnancy loss, and helping us all be a little more informed and kind.