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  • Hard to Bear: Investigating the science and silence of miscarriage
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Hard to Bear: Investigating the science and silence of miscarriage

Isabelle Oderberg

Every year miscarriage affects up to 150,000 Australians and the people that love them. So why are we so damned bad at dealing with it?

A busy doctor dismissing a patient’s physical or mental pain, an emergency department falling far short of adequate care or a friend or family member who has no idea what to say so they say the worst thing of all. Sorrow and loss are compounded each step of the way.
In Hard to Bear, journalist Isabelle Oderberg investigates the world’s most common pregnancy complication, from the origins of the silence that engulfs it, to the role played by medical misogyny in treatment, and why Reproductive Justice must be at the heart of every solution.
Combining in-depth investigative skills with her own lived experience and that of hundreds of others, Oderberg charts a course to improve the system and change the lives of anyone directly or indirectly touched by early pregnancy loss, with practical and generous advice and suggestions along the way.

About the Author

After growing up in Hong Kong, Isabelle Oderberg went to university in Melbourne. She has worked as a journalist for two decades in newswires across Europe, Asia and Australia, where she was the country's first social media editor for Melbourne’s Herald Sun. Her work has appeared in The Age/SMH, Guardian, ABC, Meanjin and elsewhere. She also worked as a media and communications strategist across the not-for-profit sector. Hard to Bear is her first book.


‘An unbeatable combination of compassion and courage, help and hope.’ – Kaz Cooke, author of Up the Duff and You’re Doing it Wrong


‘Told with love, sass and journalistic rigour, this courageous and compelling book will be a lifeline for so many families whose grief and loss has for too long been unspeakable.’ – Jess Hill, author of See What You Made Me Do


‘Oderberg writes with fury and empathy while never losing her clear journalistic eye.’ – The Guardian


‘Oderberg’s voice is warm and compassionate; she is interested in the science, but also in love. This book will help practitioners, and also those who are grieving.’ – The Australian


‘This comprehensive work helps to dispel such myths by shining a light on the many forms of miscarriage, how they are experienced and treated, the trauma that can ensue … and the toll of multiple miscarriages. Written with frankness and flashes of dark humour, Oderberg’s own story dramatically illustrates this ordeal.’ – The Age


‘Funny, wise and forensically researched. Hard to Bear is brilliant.’ – Samantha Maiden


‘This incredible book should be another nail in the coffin to medical misogyny worldwide.’ – Gabrielle Jackson, author of Pain and Prejudice


‘In Hard to Bear Isabelle Oderberg manages to weave expert research into a personal narrative of grief, hope, and love … It is also about joy and grace. The joy of family, and friends, and all the tiny moments that call us away from grief.’ – Nyadol Nyoun


‘This book runs loudly and proudly towards a topic we too easily ignore.’ – Gina Rushton, author of The Most Important Job in the World


‘Fierce, frank and deeply compassionate, Hard to Bear is a long overdue reckoning with early pregnancy loss. This book will be a salve to thousands and propel a much-needed cultural conversation.’ – Yves Rees, author of All About Yves




Pub Date
April 2023




Pregnancy loss. Miscarriage. Medicine. Care.