Miscarriages, still too often a women’s affair

The National Assembly has passed a bill to better support people facing a miscarriage. But the road is still long.

Par Johanna Amselem

According to a recent report published in The Lancet, psychological care must be improved for both parents.
According to a recent report published in The Lancetpsychological care must be improved for both parents.
© BENOIT DURAND / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP

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En France, one in ten women has already suffered a miscarriage. A largely minimized phenomenon that still remains taboo. To remedy this, on March 9, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a bill aimed at better caring for women through psychological support and sick leave without a waiting day. This lifting of the deficiency should be effective no later than 1is next January, said the Minister of Health.

According to a report published in the medical journal The Lancet in March 2021, psychological care must be improved for both parents. A necessity for which Judith Aquien, co-founder of the collective Falsehood, true experience, is also fighting. On a daily basis, she campaigns so that natural terminations of pregnancy can be better recognized. The author of Three months in silence, the taboo of the condition of women at the start of pregnancy, Payot editions (2021) has also set up the Parental Challenge with Selma El Mouissi to encourage companies to commit to caring parenting. Meeting with Judith Aquien who fights so that miscarriage is no longer a women’s affair.

Point : Currently, how is miscarriage taken care of in France?

Judith Aquien : From the way of announcing it to future parents to the level of information given by health professionals, it all depends on the caregiver. There is no defined framework on the information to be communicated. Some parents go home without certain key elements, all of this is trivialized, too fast. In the best of cases, they are informed of the cause of the miscarriage, which allows the guilt to be evacuated. But unfortunately, there is no fixed protocol. It really is Russian roulette.READ ALSO Hélène Bonhomme – Pregnant after a miscarriage

This bill allows certain advances. Should we go even further?

The lifting of the deficiency for sick leave is a very good thing. However, she very much likes the question of parenthood. Only the mother can benefit from these days, and the co-parent? He too has lost hope of his parenthood. He must be accompanied, listened to. A natural termination of pregnancy is a collapse for the couple. He too needs time and companies have everything to gain by listening to and respecting this sentence.

With Selma El Mouissi you created the Parental Challenge, signed by many companies, including very recently by L’Oréal, what is it about?

The Parental Challenge is made up of a guide to 100 actions – two thirds of which are free – to be implemented in your company to establish a parental policy. The challenge also translates into adherence to a twelve-point charter. Regarding the loss of a baby, the guide recommends that companies offer teleworking the days following leave to the woman who was pregnant as well as to the second parent. Similarly, the charter suggests a three-day 100% paid miscarriage stop for both members of the couple.

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How is it possible to better support the couple in this ordeal?

Everything must start with education. In college, during SVT courses, this question is not addressed. You have to explain to the pupils what happens when an embryo arrives in the woman’s body, what it does to the body, why in certain cases it does not settle, etc. It’s all just biology. By explaining to young people what really happens in the human body, they will be informed. Once again, this lack of education shows that the female body is not recognized as a subject of study.

During a miscarriage, the medical profession must show concern and compassion. There are also discussion groups attached to certain public hospitals, but patients are not always aware. We must inform them about what exists. Our collective also thinks that it is important to give parents a short booklet that includes certain key information, a toolbox that they can take back once the shock of the announcement has passed. In addition, in the hospital, it would be necessary to organize care a little away from pregnant women and babies who have just been born.

Over the years, the term “miscarriage” has been increasingly decried, is it better to change this name?

Using the expression “having a miscarriage” once again designates the woman as the actor of her misfortune. However, she has nothing to do with it. The term “natural termination of pregnancy” is more relevant. Evolution is starting to enter people’s minds, and that’s very good.

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