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The Unique Support You Should Offer When Someone Suffers a Miscarriage


Grieving Process

Posted On: Feb 06, 2017

The Unique Support You Should Offer When Someone Suffers a Miscarriage

There's an unfortunate stigma attached to miscarriage that makes it nearly impossible even to acknowledge. The reticence to talk about it openly is detrimental to the parents who grieve the loss of their child. It's especially hurtful and harmful to the mother. Someone who miscarries a baby needs comfort, love, and support. They need a specific, unique type of support. It's difficult to understand a loss like this unless you've experienced it yourself, but in this instance, you can learn empathy for the situation. You simply need to approach the grieving mother or couple with tact, compassion, and understanding.

Let the Mother Talk about Her Pain

This is the most helpful thing you can do. It's best to visit in person so that you can figuratively and literally offer a shoulder on which to cry, but phone calls and Facetime visits are suitable substitutes. The most important thing is that you're giving her a place to vent as much as she needs. Be a safe space for her to cry, scream, curse, and let out her anguish.

Reassure Her that She's Not at Fault

It's heartbreaking but common for women to think they're at fault when they suffer a miscarriage. The tragic truth is that miscarriage happen, and at a higher rate than any of us like to consider. Comfort her, hold her, tell her that everyone knows how much she loved and wanted her child.

Offer Comfort to the Other Parent

If the parents are together, then the other half of the couple also feels grieves. Don't neglect her or his sadness. Don't just pass your regards along to the mother, either. Spare a moment to take the other parent aside and ask how s/he feelings, how s/he's coping, and if there's anything you can do.

Don't Minimize Their Grief with Comparison

In trying to comfort the bereaved parents, some well-meaning people make comments to the effect of how it's a blessing that the parents didn't get to “meet” their child. They compare a miscarriage to a stillborn child or the death of a baby shortly after birth. This is cruel. It minimizes the grief felt by the parents and suggests that because their baby was not born, the loss isn't as devastating. It is.

The loss of a child is never easy, and there is no way to quantify it or qualify it. There is no scale on which to measure how much it hurts to lose a child, and the child's age does not matter. A mother lost her child. A couple lost their baby. Open your arms and your heart. Let them talk about the little life they already loved so much.