Many of us feel uncomfortable with the word “miscarriage”. Think about how reading that word just now made you feel and react.
Did your stomach sink?
Did you feel yourself shrinking back?
Did you feel emotional or numb?
Or perhaps you felt just blank?
And that’s just from the outside.
For the couple who are going through a miscarriage, the pain and emotions they are going through can be very difficult to understand by others. Only others who have been through that pain and those emotions themselves can really understand.
For example, giving someone a hug when you are not so close with them, can be completely overstepping the boundary. A grieving mother needs space and may only want to let those in who are closest to her. Choose your words carefully. Even though the intention is there to say something you think is appropriate, your words may not be received as you intended. Choosing silence and avoiding the subject can be hurtful. Even if you feel awkward, it is always nice to show some form of sympathy.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
Good to see you again. How are you? I was so sorry to hear about your loss.
It is good to show some compassion. It can be particularly hard for a woman to go straight back to normality again after a miscarriage. Remember, that she has also been through a physical and emotional upheaval. A miscarriage is a sudden loss. One day there is a life growing and their due date, gender, name etc are all being thought about. The next day there is grief for a lost life.
Words can be extremely harmful. A woman who has miscarried never forgets the more distressing things people said to her during her miscarriage. From the doctors and hospital staff through to friends and neighbours.
Will you try for another baby? – they are trying to process their grief so it’s probably not the first thing they are thinking about right now.
At least it was only early on – a miscarriage at any stage is a huge loss.
At least you already have a child – very hurtful. They have just lost a baby that they were so excited about, a brother or sister for their child.
Anything that starts with “at least” should be avoided.
You’ll be fine again soon – how do you know that? How do you know the depths of their grief?
Why didn’t you tell me? (definitely do not make it about you) – many people do not want to talk and share or shout it from the rooftops. They need time and space to process their loss and grieve.
This classic can be extremely upsetting for couples who are having fertility problems:
When are you planning on having children?
It is often the natural question on the tip of every tongue to ask a married couple who do not yet have children. Being able to stay “we’re having infertility problems” is not the easiest thing for any couple to talk about to anyone.
The treatment and sympathy for miscarrying women and couples who have lost can completely vary from hospital to hospital.
Being treated with a lack of sympathy can be very distressing:
Matter of fact doctors who don’t deal with emotions, talking about doing the procedure like it is not a human being that has been lost. Hospitals where the patient is just a number and is straight in and straight out with a leaflet pressed into their hand.
It Makes A Difference When Hospitals Show Sympathy:
When a doctor or nurse say that they are so sorry about your loss. A show of consideration to keep a miscarrying woman separate from women who are going into the labour ward or have a newborn in their arms.
I am here to help mothers who have miscarried. To support you and help you to heal. I have many helpful materials here on my website to help you. My private group on Facebook is called “Healing After Miscarriage”. It is a safe place for you, to help you on your healing journey.