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MuM: Misunderstandings of Miscarriage (ATOM Study Guide)

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MuM: Misunderstandings of Miscarriage chronicles a personal journey to understand the physical, emotional and psychological impacts of miscarriage.

At age 31, after experiencing her second miscarriage, Tahyna MacManus was devastated, lost, angry and, despite those around her, felt terribly alone. She picked up a camera and started to record her story and in doing so found other resilient, courageous women speaking of their sadness, their shame and their guilt while still holding onto hope.
She discovers that 1 in 4 Australian women experience miscarriage – so why aren't we talking about it? In this highly intimate journey, Tahyna lifts the lid on all that shame, provides some answers and makes sure that women no longer walk this path alone. But first, she must correct her own misunderstandings about miscarriage.

For many young people, having children – 'one day, definitely, maybe' – is an important and expected part of their life experience. However, the road to parenthood can be fraught with difficulties. Experiencing miscarriage is one of these difficulties, but it is a topic that is not always spoken about openly.
MuM: Misunderstandings of Miscarriage offers an opportunity to explore pregnancy loss and attitudes towards miscarriage.

Specifically, by watching and studying the documentary students can:

  • follow first-hand accounts of miscarriage
  • explore the concepts of grief, loss, guilt and shame
  • examine assumptions and stereotypes
  • consider the link between parenthood and personal identity
  • consider the different ways people can demonstrate resilience
  • evaluate the importance of community support to individuals and groups

This study guide is suitable for senior secondary and tertiary students, with particular relevance to the following curriculum areas:

  • Human Biology (human reproduction)
  • Psychology (exploring culture and values)
  • Community Services and Health (the significance of social and community support for people dealing with grief)
  • Health and human development (the significance of parenthood in the overall scheme of 'wellbeing', impact of miscarriage on mental health)
  • English (how texts represent the world and human experience)
  • Media Studies (how techniques, codes and conventions are used to create and challenge representations)

The documentary is a useful resource to address the Australian Curriculum General Capability – Personal and Social Capability, in particular the sub strands of 'self-awareness' and 'social awareness'.
Teachers should watch this documentary before deciding to show it to students. The program may raise issues among students who themselves, or their family members, have experienced miscarriage so sensitive pre-viewing discussions are recommended.

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