Miscarriage can be incredibly hard and sad. For me, my first miscarriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.
Of course, like everything in life, grieving a miscarriage is different for everyone. But after having two miscarriages myself and reading about lots of other peoples experiences, I feel like there are some pretty universal truths in terms of what can be helpful and what can be hurtful. So I’ve made this brief guide to what to say to someone who has had a miscarriage.
I know you’re trying to help them see the positives but it feels like you’re minimising the loss. Including:
“At least it was early”
“At least you know you can get pregnant”
Side note: they might say “at least..” That is totally different. It doesn’t mean you can.
Along this same line, don’t say, it’s really common. They probably know or have been told this already and it doesn’t make it easier. It just seems like you’re saying they shouldn’t be upset about it because it happens all the time.
“Maybe it’s because you don’t eat enough meat”
“Maybe it’s because you exercised too much”
“Maybe it’s because you moved overseas”
“Maybe it’s because you were stressed”
“Maybe it’s because there is a curse on your family”
(Real things I was told after my miscarriages. )
I know you’re ignoring the elephant in the room because you don’t want to upset them — but not saying anything doesn’t make it go away. It just feels like you don’t think it’s worth mentioning. We’re already thinking about it. Not sure what to say?
Start with “Sorry”
Tell them you don’t know what to say.
Say, it’s unfair. It fucking sucks.
It’s not your fault.
I can’t imagine how hard this must be.
I’m here for you.
Do you want to talk about it?
Ask if they gave their baby a name.
Be sensitive about announcing your pregnancy. (Personally, I liked to be told by text, especially if I didn’t know they were trying or it’s been quick. That way I could have a cry and get my head around it then I’d get around to being happy for them by the time we next saw each other.)
Lastly, if you want to go the extra mile, acknowledge them on Mother’s Day. Find out when their due date was and send them flowers. These little acts might be the only time someone else acknowledges the whole little life they had inside them.
If you’ve had a miscarriage yourself, I’m so sorry. Your baby mattered, your grief matters. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to talk to. ❤️
Amara (Ami) is a fertility dietitian and ovulation expert. She lives in sunny Singapore with her husband and rainbow baby.
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