Miscarriages are more common than you might think. As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you have a friend or family member who has suffered this loss, it can be difficult to know what to say. You want to offer comfort and support, but sometimes the right words just don’t come easy.
We’ve put together a guide on what to say (and what not to say) when someone you know experiences a miscarriage. With these tips, you’ll be able to express your support and sympathy in the best way possible. Just remember to speak from the heart and let your loved one know you care about them.
What to Say to Someone Who Had a Miscarriage
If a woman you know recently experienced pregnancy loss, she is likely in a world of emotional pain. Struggling to manage her journey through a grief process while taking care of her mental health can be a challenge!
However, assuming that you understand what she is going through is a mistake -every pregnancy loss produces a grieving person who experiences grief differently.
Letting the woman who experienced miscarriage know you’re sending caring thoughts in a card or expressing a desire to help can give a friend much-needed support.
When you wonder what to say to someone who had a miscarriage, always consider their feelings before opening your mouth. Some helpful expressions to share your condolences include:
- “I’m so sorry for your loss.” A simple and sincere expression of sympathy is often all that’s needed when someone experiences a miscarriage. This statement shows that their feelings matter to you. However, if you know the woman well, offering more support is usually welcome, if not desperately needed.
- “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” Offering practical assistance, like bringing over a home-cooked meal or helping with errands, is a great way to show you care. Often, women are more inclined to accept a specific offer such as: “Want me to come by and babysit for a while tonight so you can rest?” or “How about if I come by and tidy up for you tonight so that you can spend time with your family resting? I would love to feel like I’m helping.”
- “It’s okay to grieve in your own way, but I’m here if you need anything.” Letting the person know it’s okay to express their feelings in whatever way they need will make them feel supported and cared for. Some women need support groups to feel connected to others suffering a loss. Other women need time alone to write in a journal and rest. If your friend makes it clear she doesn’t want to talk, honor her wishes and let her be. It’s okay to continue sending periodic text messages, offering help, or a listening ear.
- “You don’t have to go through this alone.” Your loved one may need to talk about their experience and feelings. It’s crucial they know they have someone to lean on. However, if your friend or family member wants to talk, avoid giving advice. She is likely receiving plenty of unsolicited offers of advice already.
The “Wrong Thing” Say to Someone Who Had a Miscarriage
Most people want to help when someone loses a baby, no matter how many weeks along the pregnancy. However, insensitive comments or saying the wrong thing can leave a hurting woman feeling even worse. And always think twice before you offer advice!
It’s best to speak carefully and listen more than you are talking when a miscarriage occurred to a friend. Women who go through miscarriage hear rude comments all the time. Don’t let your words contribute to her pain.
Here are some things not to say to a woman who experienced a miscarriage:
- “Look on the bright side. This could be for the best.” While there may be some truth in this statement for a young mother who is not ready to care for a child, it can come off as insensitive or dismissive of how your loved one is feeling.
- “At least you already have other children.” This statement minimizes the loss and pain they are going through. Your friend may feel you don’t understand the emotional pain they’re going through.
- “Just try again. Your future pregnancies will bring a baby.” Making light of the situation isn’t helpful, even if you’re trying to be encouraging.
- “At least it happened early on in the pregnancy before you had a real baby.” This statement implies that there is an acceptable time to lose a baby and can make your loved one feel like their emotions aren’t justified or valid.
- “I can buy your baby items for my pregnancy.” This is an insensitive thing to say, period.
No matter what you say, try to focus on offering kindness and compassion. Let them know they’re not alone and you are here for them in whatever way they need.
They may not be ready to talk or even see visitors immediately, so be sure to check in, so let them set the pace of the conversation when they are ready.
It’s also important to remember that healing from a miscarriage doesn’t happen overnight—so don’t pressure them.
The Grieving Process
Sometimes, even with kind words and the support of loved ones during a miscarriage, a woman may struggle to grieve the loss of her child. Some women struggle to process their own feelings and may need help to work through the emotional trauma of it all.
Often, seeking professional help from a family therapist can bring a friend through a tough time. It may be time to seek out help if your friend suffers from symptoms of severe depression, such as:
- Poor appetite
- Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling overwhelming guilt
- Continuing to talk about the death or focusing on the child’s body long after experiencing a miscarriage
- Seeming like she’s lost hope and the ability to find happiness with experiences that gave her joy in the past.
- The grieving period lasts for more than 12 months. Grieving periods may vary, but when grief lasts for a year or more, professional help may be needed. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Complicated grief may be considered when the intensity of grief has not decreased in the months after your loved one’s death. Some mental health professionals diagnose complicated grief when grieving continues to be intense, persistent and debilitating beyond 12 months.”
When a Family Member Suffers Pregnancy Loss
When pregnant women find out the bad news about the baby, they often immediately share the news with close family members or trusted friends.
Kind, but helpful suggestions from older women who have experienced a miscarriage can be beneficial. Sharing kind words can help a woman experiencing a loss get through any medical procedures and the emotional pain of losing a pregnancy.
Many women grieving a pregnancy loss may have older children that need care and concern too. You may be a trusted person they can lean on for support with their children as they adjust to their new reality and the changing hormonal levels.
We Can Help
If you or someone you love is mourning a stillbirth or miscarriage, we can help you create beautiful plans to honor the baby’s life. At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we have options to help you remember your baby’s life with memorials that last for a lifetime.
We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the emotional pain of losing a pregnancy, so we want to provide a place for hope and healing. To learn more about our services, please reach out to us today. We are here to support you in any way we can.