Miscarriage is a very personal and hurtful emotional experience for a woman and her partner. It is a loss, a cause of both mental and physical pain, and something that is life-altering especially for couples who have been actively trying to conceive.
Spending time and consoling the woman who miscarried can be greatly helpful as she and her partner go through this anguish-filled phase in their lives. And while some would choose to hibernate and deal with their pen by themselves, a huge chunk of women who go through this painful personal experience say that talking to someone, and just having a friend with them helped them deal with the pain of their loss.
The American Psychology Association shared that the grieving process of a person or a couple who miscarried may take longer, but is carried on more privately. “A woman who has a miscarriage is at risk for depression and anxiety symptoms in subsequent years, says University of Rochester Medical Center psychiatry professor Emma Robertson Blackmore, PhD. In addition, even after having a healthy child, women who miscarry have a higher risk of postpartum depression, Robertson Blackmore has found.”
Yes, no words can ease the pain of their sufferings, but still being present, holding their hands and just listening to them will at least help them survive one more day grief.
Here are some tips on what to say to someone who had a miscarriage:
- “I am just here and I will listen.” Assuring the person that you will listen to the thoughts that she chooses to verbalize will at least help her deal with her grief-stricken emotions. As they say, saying things out loud can help a person deal with an emotionally-charged situation as it helps her to get a grip on what she is currently facing.
Just let her do the talking. Listen attentively and talk when she asks you too. But never give the impression that what she is feeling is no big deal especially if you have went through something graver. This is not the time to one-up the person. She needs a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.
2. “It is not your fault.” Women who miscarry may think that they may have done something that caused the termination of their pregnancy. She or her partner may even have a pre-existing condition that may have caused the pregnancy loss. But whatever the case may be, assure her that it is not her fault and that no mom would ever do something that could cause a termination of pregnancy.
Listen to your friend while she is enumerating the reasons why she thinks the pregnancy ended because of her, and one by one try to assure her that there is nothing to it.
3. “I am deeply sorry for your loss.” Let her know that you sincerely sympathize with plight. That you consider the fetus she miscarried, as a being — an unborn baby that she unfortunately lost. By saying these you let her know that you acknowledge her feelings and that you respect her grief.
4. “The feelings that you may have are all valid.” Let your friend know that her emotions are all valid and that there is no right or wrong emotion to feel at this point in time. Acknowledge the fact that it is feasible for anyone in her situation to feel anger, sadness, guilt, or even numbness.
5. “I am here and I’ll keep you company.” Devote time for your loved one who suffered a miscarriage, because most likely she will appreciate company. If she would like someone to be with her to hangout doing nothing then try to be that person for her. If she needs someone to help her pack away the baby stuff she has shopped for her unborn child, or the nursery she decorated then be that rock who can also physically help her through these tasks. If she wants to go on shopping, or sweat it out on a run then so be it. Be there for her and give her the gift of time.
6. “There is still so much beauty around you.” This may not be something she may want to hear the first couple of minutes you are together but make it a point to remind her of this fact. There is absolutely nothing wrong in opening her eyes to the good things that are coming her way and the pleasant things that continue to surround her. If it applies to her, point out that she still has her adorable children and supportive spouse to carry her through this, she has a career waiting for her, an extended family that loves her just the same, and friends that are willing to listen.
7. “I brought some food for you and the family.” When visiting a friend who has had miscarriage, bringing food that she and her family enjoys eating is the most logical thing to do. Your friend may not have the physical and emotional strength to go about her normal chores like cooking, and bringing a meal for her family will be a welcome gift to receive.
8. “Miscarriage happens.” Let your friend know that miscarrying a baby is more common than most people think simply because some people choose not to discuss it among others. Help her also make sense of the medical explanation her doctor gave her by listening to her and sharing your thoughts if you think she is open to it.
9. “What can I do for you?” Your friend may not be up to par and may feel off for a couple of weeks or days. On your free time, be with her and help her out. Ask her if she needs help with her kids, with her work, in tidying up her apartment, or arranging something for her, and happily assist her with it.
10. “I know how you feel.” If you have had a miscarriage, let your friend know that you understand how she feels because you have been there. If she seems more open to an exchange or a discussion then share what have happened to you – otherwise just listen. If she wants to hear your experiences, share her the things that have helped you somehow overcome your grief.
If your friend is someone who appreciates the church, and you are the same way too, then attending a mass or a service together, can help. You may also point your friend to someone who can give counsel or advice if she is up to it.