Chrissy Teigen's honest discussion of her high-risk pregnancy is empowering moms

Sept. 30, 2020

Model Chrissy Teigen is inspiring parents by speaking out about high-risk pregnancy. Teigen, who is expecting her third child with husband John Legend, took to Twitter and Instagram Stories this week to let fans know she’d been hospitalized due to heavy bleeding from a weakened placenta. Her candid and heartfelt posts have inspired dozens of other parents to speak up about their own struggles during pregnancy.

Teigen announced her most recent pregnancy in August and has been on bed rest since early September. This week, she says her ongoing pregnancy spotting turned into heavy bleeding. “I guess in the simplest of terms we can say my placenta is really, really weak," she reveals in Instagram Stories captured by "Basically he's the strongest, coolest dude in the sh*tiest house. His house is just falling apart.”

Teigen, whose two other children were born via in vitro fertilization (IVF), has been open about her struggles with infertility and her fears and hopes for her current pregnancy, which she says was a complete surprise because she didn’t think she “could get pregnant naturally.” Since being hospitalized, Teigen has kept fans up to date on her condition and the fact that she’s receiving blood transfusions.

Her openness and honesty has inspired dozens of other moms to share their own struggles with infertility, bed rest and pregnancy complications, as well as stories about positive outcomes to inspire other parents in tough situations to keep hope alive.

“My placenta was the worst,” one mom writes in response to Teigen’s tweets about being in the hospital. “I lost my first at 24 months but I was able to have two healthy boys. I admire your courage to share all of this because there is so much shame associated with pregnancy complications. You are such a great mom!”

A second mom writes, “If it comes down to it, my daughter was born at 23 weeks weighing 1lb 2oz and dropping to 14oz. She’s 4 now and kicking ass! These tiny babies are amazing.”

“Thank you so so so much for sharing,” another person adds. “A lot of people don’t know the struggles one goes through during pregnancy and also how difficult it can be for some to get there, and how the advice they give can be more hurtful than helpful. Praying for you and little dude.”

Pregnancy complications are rarely discussed, but they are more common than most people realize. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, about 8% of U.S. pregnancies involve serious complications that could harm the mother or baby if left untreated. The most common serious complications are gestational diabetes, hyperemesis gravidarum, placenta previa and preeclampsia. Additionally, as many as 10-15% of all pregnancies result in pregnancy loss.

Women also face growing risks during labor and delivery. Based on the rate per 10,000 deliveries, serious labor complications more than doubled from 1993 to 2014, according to the most recently available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While pregnancy can be a joyous and exciting experience, it can also be dangerous, stressful and emotionally fraught. Typical pregnancy narratives often focus only on the joy of welcoming a new baby and leave out mothers who’ve faced struggle and loss or had pregnancy and birth experiences that differ from the “ideal."

Teigen using her platform to speak up about her own struggles helps to normalize important and necessary conversations about infertility, high-risk pregnancy and every other complex and difficult situation that can arise when a couple is trying to have a child. No two pregnancy experiences are alike, and every woman deserves space and support to share her unique struggles, fears, hopes and truth.

Editor's note: Shortly after the publication of this article, Chrissy Teigen posted the heartbreaking news of her pregnancy loss. Our condolences to the Teigen-Legend family. We all share in their grief and loss.  

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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