Campaigners have welcomed Sharon Stone’s decision to open up about her nine miscarriages, which they said will help other women.
The actor said it was “no small thing, physically nor emotionally” and that women who miscarry are made to feel a “sense of failure”.
Stone, 64, was responding to an Instagram post about a People interview in which Peta Murgatroyd, a dancer on US TV show Dancing with the Stars, spoke about her miscarriage.
The Basic Instinct star wrote: “We, as females don’t have a forum to discuss the profundity of this loss. I lost nine children by miscarriage.
“It is no small thing, physically nor emotionally yet we are made to feel it is something to bear alone and secretly with some kind of sense of failure. Instead of receiving the much needed compassion and empathy and healing which we so need.”
“Female health and wellness left to the care of the male ideology has become lax at best, ignorant in fact, and violently oppressive in effort.”
Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, welcomed her comments, saying it “takes courage” for women, especially those in the public eye, to talk about their miscarriages. But, she said, it can act as a “gift” and may lead others to feel less lonely and to talk about their experiences too.
“When someone with such a high profile talks about their experience, and hers was particularly difficult, it can be in such a sad way a gift and a comfort for someone who’s going through something similar.”
While everyone’s experiences of miscarriage are different, she said, “there’s always something shared”.
She added: “When someone else talks about it, it can feel like you’re not alone. It can feel often like a very very lonely experience.”
While there are not exact figures in the UK, it is estimated that between one in four and one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage.
While talking about miscarriage is becoming less taboo – with women including Stone, Chrissy Teigen and Carrie Johnson sharing their experiences publicly – it still remains a difficult subject for many.
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Bender Atik said one of the reasons is that when people share their experiences they are met with inappropriate cheeriness. When the Miscarriage Association asked women what they would have liked to hear, she said the unanimous response was: “I’m sorry for your loss.” “Pretty much any sentence that begins with ‘at least …’ is one to consider not saying at all,” she added.
Stone has previously spoken about suffering several miscarriages due to an autoimmune condition while she was married to journalist Phil Bronstein between 1998 and 2003. She later adopted three boys: Roan, 22, Laird, 17 and Quinn, 16.