Michelle Obama's new book, Becoming, released Tuesday, November 13. In the biography, the former first lady discusses her struggles with infertility. Twenty years ago, Obama had a miscarriage.
At the time, Obama explained in her recent Good Morning America interview, she didn't realize how common miscarriages were, and women don't "share the truth about their bodies and how they work and don't work." A miscarriage in the first trimester is also called early pregnancy loss. These are common - they occur in nearly one out of ten known pregnancies.
Though some women believe they have caused the miscarriage by exercising, having morning sickness, and having sex while pregnant, this is not true. Smoking and drinking could possibly increase the risk, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, but even that is unclear.
Age can contribute to miscarriage as well: women over 35 are more susceptible to it. Obama would have been close to that age when her miscarriage occurred. Now, she advocates for more open discussion on the shared pain of miscarriage.
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Jenna Phipps is a writer, editor, and dancer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys working with other people to improve their writing, taking long road trips, experimenting with choreography, and reading many novels.