** Trigger: Please note this piece covers a sensitive subject that some may find distressing **
Sadly the death of a baby is not a rare event, talking about it on the other hand, can be. Stillbirth and other forms of pregnancy loss occur more often than we may realise:
According to the baby charity Tommy's:
For those grieving the loss of a child, it can help to know they are not alone, and in recent years a number of celebrities have shared their personal experiences of harrowing loss in a bid to open up the subject for more discussion, support and research.
Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Barlow and Amanda Holden sit alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Nicola Sturgeon, Emma Thomson and Courtney Cox, each of them speaking candidly about their experiences, in the hope of making the subject of losing a baby less taboo.
Most recently, it was model and TV presenter Chrissy Teigen and her singer husband John Legend who shared the agony of losing their baby midway through pregnancy. By publically posting their experience and publishing intimate hospital photos on social media, they bravely ventured to once again break this all too frequent culture of silence.
While their images were obviously upsetting to look at, Teigen received much support from her audience for being so vulnerable and honest. The couple also came in for plenty of disaproval, with critics questioning their decision to share details and photos about such an intimate and 'private' life event.
While for some, sharing stories of stillbirth and miscarriage still may be regarded as off-limits, it's well known that for many people, sharing and talking about traumatic experiences can help the healing process and enable those encountering such terrible loss to feel less alone.
Losing a child is one of the most intensely traumatic things a person can experience - and grieving for an unborn child or just born child, of course, comes with its own additional immediate and longer-term challenges, pressures and devastation.
It may be a new phenomenon, but some people are now more comfortable and feel more able to share on social media sites what they are less willing to share in personal relationships with others. Hopefully, by sharing news on such a public platform, either with friends or in forums of others with similar experiences, this may in turn then enable them to talk in person, share it their grief and receive support.
However, there is, of course, no right or wrong way to grieve and everyone will need to find their own way of coping and coming to terms with the unimaginable. For those who feel they want to be open, it's important they feel supported and encouraged in their decision, but equally, if someone chooses to grieve privately, it's important to respect that decision and their privacy.
Too often, the emotional impact of baby loss still leaves parents isolated in their grief. By celebrities sharing their experiences of loss so publicly, it re-enforces the idea that it is OK to talk about it, easing the way to open and honest conversations and encouraging others to do the same.
Whether we like it or not, the culture of celebrity power means it's important that people with high profiles continue to shine this light on the frequency and its devastating effects of baby loss. Let's face it, anything that helps to break the silence around the subject and encourage better support for grieving families as well as more research into the causes has got to be applauded.
"Too many families leave the hospital with empty arms - we need to acknowledge the scale and impact of pregnancy and baby loss." Tommy's.
For more information and support: