December 10, 2011 by staff
Duggar Miscarriage, Michelle Duggar, the mother of America’s biggest family — or at least its most well-known one, thanks to reality television — was six months into her 21st pregnancy (after suffering the loss of one baby previously) when she announced earlier this week that she had miscarried. Duggar also announced that she plans to both name the baby and hold a funeral service.
As stars of the TLC series “19 Kids and Counting,” Duggar and her husband, Jim Bob, have faced plenty of criticism for their approach to family planning — or lack thereof. The announcement of this latest pregnancy was met with indignation by some, especially in light of the fact that the world had just welcomed baby number seven billion. A blogger for Babble even wrote a letter of resignation — from the perspective of Duggar’s uterus.
The pregnancy’s end no doubt raises some uncomfortable but important questions: is there a correlation between the number of pregnancies a woman has and her likelihood of miscarrying? And what is the appropriate process for grieving a child who hasn’t been born?
“The number of children is not the issue,” said Dr. George Macones, an OB-GYN at Washington University in St. Louis, who explained that a woman’s risk of miscarrying is increased by preexisting medical conditions, such as diabetes, and factors such as a weak cervix. After giving birth to 19 babies, Macones said, the latter is probably not why Duggar miscarried because the issue would have surfaced much earlier.
“There aren’t lots of people who’ve had 20 babies out there, so we don’t have lot of good data on it,” he said. “But the risk is really related to how healthy somebody is. As [women] get older, there are more medical problems.” In addition to the role the mother’s health plays, the likelihood for chromosomal problems with the baby increases as the she gets older.
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