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Miscarriage bereavement leave debate: Hollywood celebrities weigh in

Carrie Underwood - REUTERS/Mike Blake

Miscarriage bereavement leave debate: Hollywood celebrities weigh in

Miscarriage bereavement leave debate: Hollywood celebrities weigh in

Carrie Underwood and James Van Der Beek reveal the emotional effects of miscarriage. This as New Zealand debates bereavement leave after the loss of an unborn child. 

As New Zealand’s parliament prepares to debate bereavement leave for women and their partners who have a miscarriage, two Hollywood celebrities have revealed the devastating effects of losing a baby on their lives.

Country singer Carrie Underwood has discussed the heartbreak she felt when she experienced three miscarriages in two years.

Underwood, who rose to fame in 2005 as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, has a three-year-old son with her husband, former ice hockey player Mike Fisher.

The singer revealed she’d become pregnant twice in 2017 and at the beginning of 2018, with each pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage.

She used her work as a coping mechanism, throwing herself into writing sessions and keeping herself occupied.

Underwood, a devout Christian, was reluctant to express her anger over the miscarriages, as she felt she had much in her life to be grateful for despite her misfortune.

After becoming pregnant again in 2018, Underwood was sure she was experiencing another miscarriage.

While praying, she questioned why she’d been able to become pregnant so many times if she couldn’t have another baby.

“Why on earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? Like what is this?” she asked.

“Shut the door. Do something. Either shut the door or let me have a kid.”

Underwood discovered she wasn’t having another miscarriage and is now expecting her second child with Fisher.

Dawson’s Creek actor James Van Der Beek has also spoken about the miscarriages his wife suffered and the impact they had on the couple.

On Instagram, Van Der Beek called for the term “miscarriage” to be renamed, as he says it suggests that the mother is at fault for failing to “carry” a baby.

In New Zealand, Labour MP Ginny Anderson has sponsored a bill which would legislate for three days’ paid bereavement leave. It also covers stillbirths.

New Zealanders are currently entitled to bereavement leave after losing a family member or child but this does not include the loss of a child who is not born alive.

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