Someone recently asked me what should I say to someone who had a miscarriage without upsetting them? I thought about this one for a while, everyone reacts differently to trauma and everyone grieves differently. One persons way of coping wouldn’t be the same as someone else’s. What makes one person happy could potentially upset someone else but here are a few points I thought would help.
What to say….
- Are you ok? – Don’t just ask it and expect as Yes i’m fine! They aren’t fine, they have just lost their baby. They may say it but Do they really mean it? If they want to unload their emotions they will. Be the person that listens when they want to talk. Let them say how they are really feeling.
- I’m here for you if you want to talk! – Don’t say it unless you mean it.I had people say it then disappear or change the subject when I was ready to talk and that really hurt me. If they are ready let them talk, let them get all their emotions out. Let them vent.
- Share your story if you have one – I felt so much better hearing how other people had went through the same. I had a few people I was able to turn to and ask questions I needed answered because google doesn’t give all the answers.
- Is there anything I can do to help? – The chances are they will say no but offer to help. Offer to bring a take away or a cooked meal when you visit. The chances are they aren’t up for cooking a meal. Offer to make the tea for everyone when you call in to see them. If they have kids already offer to take them out for an hour.
- I don’t know what to say but I’m sorry! – Be honest tell them you don’t know what to say other than i’m sorry for your loss, i’m sorry you are going through this. They will thank you for it because there is nothing worse than someone trying to make small talk because they don’t know what else to say.
What not to say….
- Everything happens for a reason – I hated hearing those words even if I did say it myself a few times purely because it shut down the conversation when I didn’t want to talk. Yes their may be a medical reason behind why someone has miscarried but they don’t want to hear that now they want to acknowledge the fact they were pregnant, they were growing a tiny baby.
- Sure it wasn’t really a baby!- This has to be my most hated comment of all. It was a baby it was a tiny little human that was growing inside me. The moment a women finds out she is pregnant her life changes. They will plan for their future with that baby, they will think of names, pick prams and clothes etc. To them it is more than a baby. I recently seen a picture shared on social media of a baby that had been growing in a mothers womb for 12 weeks, someone had commented on the picture saying it wasn’t accurate. A fetus didn’t look like that at 12 weeks. I sat in my bathroom crying my heart out along with my husband and our baby that had been growing for 11 weeks. I know what our baby looked like and I can tell you it was an accurate picture minus the blood.
- At least you weren’t further along – Thankfully this isn’t a comment I had heard personally but its definitely not a nice comment to make. It doesn’t matter if the mother was 3 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 40 weeks or even if they baby had been born alive before it passed away. To that mother it is still her baby. It still hurts no matter how far along in the pregnancy you were.
- You can always try again- This is another comment I had heard a lot and after my miscarriage I didn’t want to try again. All I wanted to do was grieve for the baby I had lost in that moment I wanted people to acknowledge the baby I had carried not the one I may have in the future.
- Be grateful for what you have – I hated hearing this too. I am grateful for what I already have but that doesn’t stop the heartache caused by the baby I don’t have. If someones parent died would you say to them be grateful your other parent is still alive? You wouldn’t dare so why do people feel its acceptable to say it to someone who has lost a baby?
From the moment a women finds out she is carrying a baby she is a Mother. The moment they get a positive on the pregnancy test they will start to plan for their future, for their baby’s future. They never want to be told their baby doesn’t have a heartbeat they never expect to hear those words when they go for a scan but unfortunately some women do. When it does happen they will need all the support they can from their friends and family so I hope this helps a little if you know someone going through a miscarriage.