Why Chrissy Teigen’s Pregnancy Loss Photos Are Important — And Common

Bereavement photos date back to the Victorian era.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

In late September, Chrissy Teigen revealed that she and her husband, John Legend, had gone through pregnancy loss, just a month after she announced that they were expecting a third baby. When Teigen announced her pregnancy in mid-August, she revealed that it was the first baby they had ever conceived naturally — and that conceiving naturally had led her to feel like the pregnancy was more fragile than one done by IVF. As the pregnancy progressed over the next month, Teigen, in her trademark radical honesty, was open about the complications that the couple was going through. She was put on bedrest and eventually hospitalized for bleeding.

It was in that hospital that she and Legend lost the pregnancy, the baby of which they had already given a name, Jack. But not only did Teigen immediately open up about the pregnancy loss — she also did something even more radical, by posting the photos of she and Legend in the hospital, going through the medical process of trying to save the pregnancy and eventually holding their son in their arms. These photos, it turns out, are extremely common — but it’s the first time that a celebrity has publicly shared them.

In fact, there are entire photography organizations that are volunteer based that help parents deal with the grief of losing a pregnancy or going through a stillbirth. One photography, Dawn McCormick, who spoke to Slate, said that the photos can help the parents process their grief. “These are the only pictures these people will ever have of that child,” she says. Remembrance, or bereavement photography, as it’s often referred to, has a long history, dating back to the Victorian era. For the people who work in the space, the photos aren’t about remembering death, but about remembering how real the experience was.

While it’s unknown if Teigen used a bereavement photographer through an organization or if someone in the hospital room snapped the pictures candidly, they’re an important reminder of what Teigen went through and will serve the family as they navigate the grief of losing a pregnancy. And for the 1 in 360 people who have gone through stillbirth or the nearly 25 percent of people who have been through miscarriage, they’ll also serve as a reminder that they are not alone, and that these tragic events are very common.

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