When 'babymania' hurts: Jesse Mulligan gets real about infertility

  • 20/02/2018

It seems like baby announcements are increasingly common in the media in recent weeks, with our own Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Women's Minister Julie-Ann Genter and ex-Seven Sharp host Toni Street all announcing their exciting news. 

But tonight on Three's The Project, host Jesse Mulligan spoke out about how for many New Zealanders, the news isn't always so happy. 

"We wanted to take a minute tonight to talk to those people who don't get immediately filled with joy when they hear someone else is having a baby," Mulligan said. 

"If you've struggled to get pregnant or you've lost a baby, or you've decided for whatever reason not to have children, seeing a pregnant Jacinda being celebrated in Vogue magazine can make you feel a bit more… complicated. 

"Just like it's normal to feel happy, it's also normal to feel other things too - like sad, frustrated, lonely, even hopeless."

Mulligan pointed out that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Health Navigator NZ confirms that 70 percent of fertilised eggs die before they are six days old, with 82 percent of conceptions not resulting in the birth of a live baby. 

"You wouldn't guess it, given that nobody seems to talk about it, but it's really, horribly common," Mulligan said. 

"Lots of couples, sometimes it feels like most couples, have trouble even getting pregnant. As a guy, you know you're in deep when you start learning abbreviations like PCOS [endometriosis] and IVF.

"You learn so much about this stuff you feel like you could teach a course in it, but of course the only person you ever talk about it with is your partner." 

Next week, The Project will run a series on what it's like to live with infertility and they've asked viewers to share their own stories.  

"With your help, we're hoping next week to make conversations about not having babies as natural, normal and open as our conversations about having them," Mulligan said. 

Watch the full Project video above.