Although Jessica Zucker is a psychologist specializing in women's reproductive and maternal mental health, it wasn't until she suffered a miscarriage while pregnant with her second child in 2012 that she really understood the isolation the women she had been treating were experiencing. Since going through loss herself, Zucker has made it a priority to help end the silence that surrounds miscarriage by sharing her own stories. Through her pain, she chronicled her experiences using the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage, which she turned into an Instagram account of the same name in 2015 to feature real women's stories in addition to her own.
"That was pretty much the most profound thing that ever happened in my life. The most traumatic," Zucker told Self of her miscarriage, which occurred after she began spotting and went into labor at 16 weeks while home alone. "My loss really scared a lot of my patients and comforted other people. In the most profound way it changed my lens on my work. I was able to understand these women from the inside out now. My personal experience was a way to model for other women around the world that there is absolutely no shame in loss."
Through the "I Had a Miscarriage" Instagram account, Zucker shares the stories of women who are opening up about the unfortunately all-too-prevalent experience of loss to ensure that no one going through it has to feel alone. "By putting it out there in the world and sharing it with women globally, people then feel this sense of recognition and a robust community," she said. "I don't have to know you, because it's social media, but I know those feelings so well. In so many of comments or messages people say, 'I could have written this myself.' Part of the point is to really show that we're more similar than we think."