The mother of a client of ours once called. She asked me how she could help her daughter with her miscarriage. I thought this was so moving and sweet!
Almost 1/4 women have experienced a pregnancy loss. So the chance that someone close to you will ever experience this is high. That’s why I’m writing this blog.
The way women experience a miscarriage varies enormously. I heard a woman say after a miscarriage, “Well, that can happen. Apparently it wasn’t right and nature decided. Beautiful, is it not?” But also a woman who said: “This was the most emotional experience of my life, even more intense than the birth of my daughter.”
There is therefore not 1 way in which you can help someone after a miscarriage. But I can give some tips.
Many women (and partners!) feel alone after experiencing a miscarriage. So you can already help someone by indicating that you are there for her (or him). This is perhaps the most important.
What can you do to help someone after a miscarriage
- Ask specifically about someone’s needs. Even if you are far from someone, even if you are her boss or neighbor. Sincere involvement is often really appreciated.
- Have someone tell their story over and over. Telling the events often, sometimes minute by minute, is very valuable.
- Listening carefully to details that are important to her, although they may seem irrelevant to you.
- Emotions of sadness, fear, shame, anger, doubt, jealousy towards other pregnant women are common. Let all the emotions someone feels be there. Feeling an emotion is good, as a a listener you do not need (and can) not let the feeling disappear. Just listen.
- Continue to provide support and understanding even if the miscarriage has been some time ago. If someone resumes their life after a miscarriage, it does not mean that the grief has disappeared.
What not to do
- Don’t downplay the loss. Someone in a lot of grief is often difficult to see, and so we sometimes tend to ease the grief. But sometimes the sadness is allowed to be there. In all its misery. (So don’t say things like: “You’re still young, you still have so many opportunities”; “Be glad you already have a healthy child”; “It’s only 1 miscarriage, my aunt had five.”)
- If you are pregnant yourself, please report this personally. As painful as it can be to tell this, she/he would rather hear it from you than anyone else. (And stick to a simple statement, and keep yourself from complaining about pregnancy complaints such as nausea, etc.)
The above is of course a very short summary with tips on how to help someone who has experienced a miscarriage. If you want to read more, the book “Coping with Pregnancy Loss” is recommended to read!
Do you have any questions, are you worried or do you want to talk about your (fear of a) miscarriage (even though it took place 30 years ago) please call us! So many women (and partners) lack help, support and guidance after a miscarriage, but we are here for you! By phone or make an appointment at the practice.