The Blog

Dear Mark Zuckerberg: What You Just Did Was Huge

While the announcement of your rainbow baby is joyous and meaningful news, something else in your status update struck a chord with millions and sent a very loud message to the Internet -- miscarriage doesn't need to be a secret. This is huge.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Dear Mark,

Yesterday you announced your wife's fourth pregnancy, and to that I extend hearty congratulations!

While the announcement of your rainbow baby is joyous and meaningful news, something else in your status update struck a chord with millions and sent a very loud message to the Internet -- miscarriage doesn't need to be a secret.

This is huge.

You probably understand that the culture surrounding pregnancy loss is rife with shame, secrecy and stigma. People are often too embarrassed to talk about a miscarriage for fear that it will make others uncomfortable, or give the appearance that something is wrong with them.

Too many people are burdened with secrecy on top of loss.

You are correct in saying that sharing your story is a way to make the world a better place. It is very much within our ability to change the way we talk about miscarriage, and normalize something that happens much more often than most people realize.

Yesterday, you did that.

Your voice has an enormous reach, and with it carries the power to transform people's lives and perceptions. When you shared with the world that you and your wife had suffered three miscarriages, millions of people listened.

Millions of people just got the message that pregnancy loss isn't something to be ashamed of.

In my line of work, I deal frequently with men and women who have survived pregnancy loss of all different stages, and struggle daily with how to reconcile their loss with this cultural silence. Let me tell you what your announcement meant to them.

Many women read your status, and were heartened to know that pregnancy loss is becoming just a little more mainstream. Several men read about your loss and were encouraged to tell their stories after seeing another man unabashedly sharing his. Countless people with no knowledge of pregnancy loss just realized that it could happen to anyone -- even the founder of Facebook.

Your announcement means something crucial -- loss is starting to come out of the shadows.

The only way we're going to change this culture of silence and stigma is by bravely sharing our stories, like you did yesterday. It's only when people understand how common, isolating and blameless pregnancy loss is that we will start to change the conversation.

Yesterday you took a big step in changing that conversation, and for that I say thank you. Thank you, and I'm so sorry for your losses.