Loss is a part of life. There’s no one on this planet that it doesn’t touch in one way or another. There are many different kinds of loss that people experience whether it’s a relationship ending, death, pregnancy loss, or another kind.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Modern Movies About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
- Older Movies About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
- Documentaries About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
People often try to gloss over this huge part of life, but that’s not doing anyone any favors. Part of knowing how to handle life’s big transitions is to normalize conversations about them. When we don’t shy away from loss, it feels less isolating and more manageable. It also helps show people what resources and tools they have to help navigate difficult times.
One of the best ways to normalize conversations about loss is through media, especially movies. When people create movies about death or write books about miscarriage, they help to show people that they’re not alone and provide comfort through the art of storytelling.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best movies about miscarriage and pregnancy loss. We hope these help, whether you’re facing it yourself or are looking for ways to support a loved one.
Modern Movies About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
It’s become more and more common in recent years to discuss pregnancy loss and stillbirth. This is reflected in movies and pop culture. Many filmmakers touch on their own experiences with pregnancy loss or understand the importance of filling in the gaps in these conversations.
Here are some modern movies about pregnancy loss and stillbirth. Not only can these start conversations of their own, but they also help you find compassion in new situations.
1. The Time Traveler’s Wife
This 2009 film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana is a fantasy romance film about a couple navigating some unusual circumstances. The main character Henry De Tamble (Bana) has a rare genetic disorder that causes him to uncontrollably time travel back and forth through time.
As you can imagine, this makes it difficult for him to build on his relationship with his wife, Claire. His disorder also makes it difficult for them to have a baby and leads Claire to experience repeated miscarriages – six to be exact.
Although this is a fantasized version of a story about miscarriage, it does give the teeniest glimpse into what some people go through. Minus the time travel, of course.
This 2009 cartoon film from Pixar should not be overlooked in the conversation around loss. In the film, we see Carl and Ellie deciding to have a baby, decorating a nursery, and feeling excited for their future. This is abruptly followed by them crying at the doctor’s office. We don’t see the couple with kids for the rest of the movie.
This is a clear indication that they faced infertility and miscarriage, even if the film doesn’t say it verbally. You may have overlooked this if you watched it when you were younger, but it may be worth another watch if you want a heartwarming, tear-jerking, take on loss and connection. It can also be a great conversation starter for talking to children about miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
3. Country Strong
This 2010 film is full of drama, and while it might not paint pregnancy loss in the best light, it is a central theme in the movie. One of the characters Kelly is a recovering alcoholic and country singer who experienced pregnancy loss after falling off a stage while performing. She was pregnant and drunk when this happened, and it shapes the rest of her life.
4. The Help
This entertaining and heartwarming film touches on miscarriage and pregnancy loss in a gentle way. It shows the character Celia Foote telling her maid about her history of pregnancy loss, and features a miscarriage scene.
Along with other important lessons, The Help shows just how far-reaching the effects of miscarriage can be on the entire family. By offering each other compassion, we navigate these emotional waters together.
5. The Light Between Oceans
This film was made in 2016 and is based in Australia. The main characters Tom and Isobel fall in love, marry, and then face two pregnancy losses over two years. Isobel fears she’ll never become a mother.
This all changes when a rowboat containing a dead man and a baby girl washes ashore at the lighthouse that Tom keeps. They are then faced with the dilemma of whether or not to report the missing baby, and the movie continues with their journey with the girl.
6. Private Life
This 2018 Netflix comedy-drama tells the story of a couple who face infertility and multiple failed in-vitro fertilization attempts (IVF). Richard and Rachel are a middle-aged couple desperately trying to have a child.
In the film we see them attempting to adopt although that fell through, go through medical procedures to try to help with fertility, and finally ask their 25-year-old niece to be an egg donor. This is an entertaining but heartwarming story about the realities of infertility and fertility treatments.
7. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Named after one of the most popular pregnancy books ever written, this 2012 comedy follows the journey of five couples navigating their journeys toward parenthood.
Although it’s not the focal point of the movie, there is a scene where two of the characters face miscarriage. This is a lighthearted, entertaining film that gives you a glimpse into pregnancy loss and how people navigate it in different situations.
Older Movies About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
While it wasn’t as common for people to talk about miscarriage in older films, it did happen. Representation has always been important, especially when there were fewer options for people to search through.
Here’s our list of older movies about miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth. Have you seen any of these?
8. Whale Rider
This 2002 drama opens with the devastating stillbirth of a twin and the mother leaving the other twin behind. It focuses on a Maori family, with the chief who is the grandfather of the twins, concerned about the loss of the baby boy who was meant to be the future leader of their tribe.
This is an incredibly touching and inspiring story about the baby girl as she grows older and discovers her own leadership. This is a unique take as this film highlights the story of the child left behind, not the parents who experienced the loss.
9. Steel Magnolias
A 1989 American comedy-drama that is full of laughs, but also gives an honest take on miscarriage. It discusses honest, hard parts of life and the journey that people go through before opening up, as well as the support they can receive once they do.
10. Maybe Baby
This British comedy was made in the year 2000 and is based on the novel Inconceivable. This film (and book) tells the story of a couple, Sam and Lucy, who tried everything in their journey towards having a baby with no luck.
To cope, Sam decides to write a screenplay about their fertility issues using his wife’s diary entries to create a successful film about their struggles.
Documentaries About Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss
Documentary filmmakers have the ability to harness the power of people’s stories and share them with the world. Documentaries are especially impactful when discussing topics as sensitive as pregnancy loss.
These documentaries about miscarriage showcase the brave people who were willing to share their stories. They’re also a reminder that these experiences shouldn’t be isolating.
11. Don’t Talk About The Baby
This groundbreaking film made in 2018, explores the shame, silence, and cultural stigmas around stillbirth, miscarriage, and infertility. It uses personal stories and interviews from experts to explore the emotions someone faces after a pregnancy loss and show how their community can support them.
What sets this film apart is its ability to journey through different cultural taboos around pregnancy loss. They aim to help serve as a tool for people navigating loss and infertility.
12. You Are Not Alone
This Australian documentary series was released in 2020 and tells the honest stories of men and women who have faced miscarriage and pregnancy loss. What sets this series apart is that it discusses stigmas and stories from people of all different backgrounds, nationalities, and sexualities.
They also discuss how loneliness is affected by social media and religion. The series also goes into detail about how support is lacking in society, whether it be from healthcare practitioners or the loved ones of someone who experienced a miscarriage.
13. Fighting for Fertility
Created by KPBS, Fighting for Fertility explores the complexities of reproduction and fertility assisting technologies. This documentary features experts from across the medical community, with the goal to encourage prospective parents to have an open dialogue about the challenges and realities of starting a family.
What sets this documentary apart is that it highlights voices that are often underrepresented in the fertility conversation. Specifically LGBTQ+ and Black communities. Fighting for Fertility instills hope for people facing infertility issues while giving real honest accounts, and helpful resources and information.
14. One More Shot
This documentary follows a real-life couple Noah and Maya and their journey through infertility. The filmmakers aimed to show the reality of infertility and what options people have through treatment.
They discuss what interventions are available, the costs and risks of fertility treatments, choosing between adoption and fertility treatment, helping people who feel isolated through infertility, navigating known egg donors, how fertility procedures affect couples, and many more questions.
This is a heartwarming and raw take on the many undiscussed aspects of infertility and fertility treatments. It’s considered a must-watch for anyone navigating fertility issues.
The Power of Storytelling
Movies about miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth help provide healing, comfort, and resources for people navigating these heartbreaking issues. Whether you’d rather watch a modern movie, older movie, or documentary—let this be your guide to another sort of support system.
Of course, not all these movies are perfect. Some of them may not know how to use the most sensitive or inclusive language and might rely more on drama than sharing honest, relatable stories. But every little bit of representation helps to push the bar forward a little more.
Coping with a miscarriage can be so difficult, but you don’t have to do this alone. Media is a powerful tool for storytelling and helping people feel less isolated and more seen. Of course, these movies may be tender to watch, so you may want to watch them with a loved one, along with a healthy box of tissues and your favorite comfort food snacks.