Laura Benanti Opens Up About "The Voldemort of Women's Health Issues"

News   Laura Benanti Opens Up About "The Voldemort of Women's Health Issues"
 
Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti, known for her witty and often sarcastic humor on social media, published a heartfelt blog post Sept. 29 about experiencing a miscarriage.

In her blog on the Huffington Post website, Benanti shares her feelings about learning she was pregnant, hearing her child's heartbeat, but then having complications leading to her losing the child. But the column goes on to focus on encountering an unspoken taboo about discussing the subject openly.

She wrote, "...if this is so common, then why do we only speak about it in whispers, if we speak about it at all? If this is so common, why does it feel like the Voldemort of women's issues?"

Benanti was referring to the villain of the Harry Potter novels, also known as "He who must not be named," despite the fact that many pregnant women — between one in three or one in five — experience miscarriages.

Laura Benanti
Laura Benanti

As an actress, Benanti also wrote about having to tell her employers about her pregnancy, "much sooner than is customary." She explained, "There were dates that needed to be tended to, and I didn't have the option to wait until the 12th or 14th week to let them know. But now that I have miscarried, I am grateful that I told them early. I'm relieved that they know why I'm not completely myself right now. I cannot imagine the added stress that many women must endure, of pretending to be fine while also dealing with the pressures of their actual job."

Read the entire blog here. Benanti, a four-time Tony Award nominee who won the 2008 Tony for Best Featured Actress for her performance as Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy, and who is returning to Broadway this winter in She Loves Me, wrote, "Why, if my neighbor sees me looking sad and asks me if I am okay, is it perfectly acceptable to tell her my aunt passed away, or I lost my job, or I had to put my dog down — but if I tell her I experienced a miscarriage, I am somehow inappropriately oversharing? My purpose in writing this is simply to say, if you are part of this sisterhood, you are not alone. This is not your fault. You did nothing to deserve this, or make it happen. You can grieve for as long (or as short) a time as you need. You are allowed to talk about this (or not talk about this) with whomever you want. You, and only you, will know when the clouds have passed."

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