The emotion and attention around the model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen’s decision to discuss her miscarriage on social media a few weeks ago remind us that this is still a topic that is not easy for many people to talk about. Stories of pregnancy loss, and the grief and complex emotions it leaves behind, bring up new issues of how public — or how private — people want to be, and also challenge the health care system to provide truly helpful responses and support.

Even the terminology is loaded; some object to the term “pregnancy loss” as suggesting that a woman misplaced her pregnancy, and “miscarriage” seems to convey a sense of blame, as if something went wrong in the “carrying,” whereas in fact, most of these pregnancies end because there is a problem with fetal development. As many as 10 percent to 20 percent of known pregnancies do end this way, many in the first trimester — and modern technology allows many women to know about their pregnancies much earlier than in the past.

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