Jenna Bush Hager shares what it was like experiencing an ectopic pregnancy
Jenna Bush Hager remembered her ectopic pregnancy while sharing her wellness path on TODAY.
The TODAY co-host opened up in a March 21 interview with Amanda Bartolomeo, the founder of the workout CorePlay.
"When I first met Amanda, we started talking about finding your core, and what that means metaphorically for women and obviously, literally," said Jenna.
"We both realized we both had had ectopic pregnancies," she said. "I had one years ago before I got pregnant with Mila. I hadn't really engaged my core because I've had six or seven stomach surgeries with C-sections, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy. And so, I had sort of lost that part of me. But also as a woman, it was a really hard thing to go through."
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), "an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus," usually in a fallopian tube. If the tube ruptures, internal bleeding can happen, and if left untreated, the person can die.
Outside of these emergencies, ectopic pregnancies can be diagnosed via ultrasound, a pelvic exam or a blood test, says ACOG. An ectopic pregnancy is never a viable pregnancy. Women who experience ectopic pregnancy can absolutely go on to have healthy pregnancies.
Jenna, who shares Mila, 9, Poppy, 7, and Henry, 3, with husband Henry Hager, previously discussed the emotional toll of her health scare in a 2019 conversation with Meredith Vieira.
"It was my first pregnancy, I was so excited," Jenna told Vieira.
"I got to the doctor’s office and she said, ‘Yeah, you’re pregnant’ (but) 'We can’t find the baby.' And I had no idea what an ectopic pregnancy was." Jenna had emergency surgery to remove her fallopian tube, an ordeal she said was "isolating."
Pregnancy complications can cause emotional anguish.
One 2020 study published in the "American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology" found that women who went through early miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies often have anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
"There are large numbers of women who suffer early pregnancy loss,” Dr. Priya Gopalan, associate professor of psychiatry and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh (who was not involved in the study), previously told TODAY.com. "There is a grieving process that goes along with it and for some women that becomes pathological, it becomes PTSD-level."
"What this study really highlights is just the extent of how much the suffering goes on," she added. "This is not just grief. It’s like grief plus."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com