Miscarriage - Ways to support a friend through the loss of a pregnancy.
The grief of miscarriage
If your friend has recently experienced a miscarriage they will need all the support of their friends and loved ones over the next few weeks and months. They will possibly have experienced the joy of discovering that they were expecting a baby, followed by excitment, disbelief, and hapiness at what the future had in store for them. They may have already begun to plan for the arrival of the baby into their family and may have started to tell people that they were expecting. Like a whirlwind all of that has been taken away and replaced with heartache.
As many as one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage during the first twelve weeks. However knowing this fact does not make it any easier for the person or couple who have lost their child.
How can I support my friend through miscarriage?
- Don't be afraid to talk to your friend about the baby. Allow her to express her feelings and to express how she feels. You may not agree with everything that she and her partner think and believe about the baby but it is more important right now that you listen and show genuine support for them.
- Don't change the conversation because you are uncomfortable with the subject or suggest that your friend can "try again". A new baby will never replace the baby that your friend has just lost and it will take time to recover.
- Remember that the father has feelings too. Often the focus is on the woman but remember that the father of the baby may be feeling very lost and in need of support too.
- Your friend may feel tired and weak for a few days so you could help out practically by shopping or cooking. People often don't like to ask for practical help but are very grateful for it.
- If there are other children in the family perhaps you could offer to take them out for a couple of hours to the cinema or for a walk. For a grieving couple time alone together is very precious.
- Some people may appear to return to their normal selves quite soon after a miscarriage. However the realisation of loss can sometimes hit weeks or months later. Be there for your friend especially around the time of the baby's due date or if she appears to be a bit low.
- Above all be sensitive.