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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU: Celebrity Miscarriage Disclosures Increase Discussion on Twitter

Beyoncé opened up about experiencing multiple miscarriages in the January 2020 issue of Elle magazine. The interview will likely lead more individuals to share their own experiences on social media, according to a new Boston University School of Public Health study.

Published in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, the study characterizes how Twitter users discuss miscarriage and preterm birth. The researchers found that miscarriage disclosures by Michelle Obama and other public figures prompted spikes in discussion, and in other people sharing their own experiences of miscarriage. The study also gathered thousands of individuals’ tweeted experiences with miscarriage, showing gaps in knowledge and support.

“Most individuals who self-disclosed a miscarriage in our data did not appear to have been offered any type of mental health support as part of medical management of their miscarriage,” says Dr. Elaine Nsoesie, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of global health. “The need for emotional and psychological support seems to drive individuals to seek information and community online.”

Dr. Nsoesie points to a quote from the former First Lady’s disclosure: “What nobody tells you is that miscarriage happens all the time, to more women than you’d ever guess, given the relative silence around it.” In fact, 15-20 percent of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage.

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