One in five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage – so chances are that someone close to you has experienced the emotional and physical pain it brings with it. In trying to support a loved one going through this, we often say things that have a completely opposite effect.
Educate yourself. Put yourself in their shoes. And more importantly: be gentle, be kind, and listen, if they want to talk.
Here’s what not to say to someone after a miscarriage:
“You can always have another”
They’ve dreamed about this baby, made plans for their future, and imagined their life with this baby. Right now, they need to grieve this loss. It might also be not their first loss, in which case this comment becomes all the more hurtful.
“At least it was early”
Regardless of how early, the grieving parents already had an identity for that baby… and lots of love.
“Everything happens for a reason”
Erm. no. Some things in life are just bad. Saying this simply diminishes the pain with false platitudes and can make the person feel even worse.
“Did you eat raw fish? Lift something heavy? Went on a trip? Stressed too much?”
The list goes on and on. Miscarriages happen – it’s not because of something the expectant mum did. She’s already feeling guilty as it is, there’s no need to add to it.
“Be grateful, at least you already have a child”
It isn’t a question of being ungrateful. They’re grieving a baby, and a sibling to their child.
What you should say instead:
“What can I do to help?”
“I’m here for you.”
Be kind. Be gentle. Listen, if they want to talk.
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