Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Announce Pregnancy, Private Struggle
A new tech heiress is in the works. Mark Zuckerberg just announced on Facebook this week that he and Priscilla Chan are expecting. In a very intimate post, Zuckerberg discussed his joy over his soon-to-be baby girl and disclosed the struggles he and Chan have faced. The couple had suffered three miscarriages prior.
The news carried not just because the parents in question are Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, but because it publicized an issue many people of all walks of life can relate to. It is estimated that 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite being a 1 in 5 phenomenon, they are still widely private and stigmatized.
Why is this? Many expecting parents believe that miscarriage is a result of something they could control, such as a stressful pregnancy or lifting heavy objects. On the contrary, there is usually no immediate identifiable cause. It is very rare for a doctor to say: “This is why this happened.” The mystery around it causes parents, especially mothers, to fill in the blanks and often feel guilty or responsible for their loss.
According to a study in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 28% of respondents felt less alone when a they learned a celebrity had experienced the same thing. This means Zuckerberg’s announcement turned out to be more than a personal note. It was soothing for some of those affected by miscarriages. This can also be seen by the overwhelming positive and heartfelt response from people on Facebook.
Whether or not his move will make other members of the business elite more comfortable with sharing their personal experiences with loss is unclear. At the minimum, he’s proven that sometimes getting “too personal” on social media can have a positive impact.