10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. This means that best case scenario, 1 in every 10 women will have a miscarriage or worst case scenario 1 in every 4 women will get a miscarriage. Each year in Africa, 4.2 million miscarriages are estimated to take place. The ratio of miscarriage rates is 22 per 1,000 women. This estimates to one miscarriage per seven live births. Studies also show that 1 in 100 women will experience recurrent miscarriages (three or more successive miscarriages).
The #StillAMum campaign comes from a desire to celebrate women who have lost babies and affirm them that they are still mums. In the African culture, a woman’s worth is attached to her ability to be a mother. This means that any woman who cannot get children for one reason or another is seen as less of a woman. She is judged and often socially segregated. Some people imagine these women are bewitched, have done something to deserve it and ultimately most societies get their son another wife to replace her
The aim of #StillAMum campaign is to create awareness on miscarriages as well as infant loss. Eventually, the goal is to have a massive campaign that causes behavior change in how people treat women without children as well as affect policy and law in Kenya.
The Still A Mum project and Campaign was founded by Wanjiru Kihusa, a blogger currently taking her Masters in Journalism who, after a miscarriage of their first baby discovered very little information and support systems for mothers like her to deal with the loss of a child.
Discussing miscarriages also allows for light to be shone on issues such as adoption and surrogacy as solutions to women who are unable to carry a pregnancy to term.
Some of the topics Wanjiru is looking to discuss in the #StillAMum online campaign are:
i. Loss and grief – when we lose someone we love
ii. Handling grief – stages of grief, things to do to deal with grief
iii. Support systems – how to help a friend who is grieving
iv. Miscarriages – what is a miscarriage, types of miscarriages, causes of miscarriages, thing you can do prevent/reduce chances of a miscarriage
v. Role of nutrition in pregnancy vi. How doctors should handle child loss – breaking news, counseling
Follow and join this campaign by sharing your stories online via #StillAMum