November 15, 2021

Helping Someone Grieve a Miscarriage

Helping Someone Grieve a Miscarriage

The topic of miscarriage is often considered taboo, and is often bound by stigma and shame. Today’s society is hesitant to discuss miscarriage and stillbirth because it’s considered “awkward” or “too personal”. However, the wall that society often puts up around a parent(s) mourning a miscarriage or stillbirth can make it very difficult for them to vocalize their loss and overcome their grief. 

If you know someone who has recently suffered from a miscarriage or stillbirth, you can do and say many things as a friend to help. If a parent doesn’t want to discuss their grief they will let you know; but, even if they’re not wanting to talk, knowing that they have friends near who are willing to listen is appreciated.

You might be wondering what you can say to your grieving friend after a miscarriage or stillbirth. In this article we will discuss a few things to say and a few things to avoid saying to assist them in their healing process.


What you can say:

  • “I’m sorry.” 
  • “You are not alone.”
  • “Thinking of you and your spouse.”
  • “What you are feeling is normal.”
  • “I’m proud of you.”
  • “Let me know if you need anything.”
  • “You are so strong.”
  • “I’m here to listen any time.”


Avoid saying anything like:

  • Clichès ( Everything happens for a reason, it was probably for the best, etc. )
  • Don’t compare them to anyone else or over generalize. Saying things like “it happens to everyone” can be insensitive. Their feelings need to be valued.
  • “You can have another one”, “at least you can get pregnant.”
  • “I understand how you feel.”
  • “Did you do something wrong?”
  • “At least it happened early.”
  • Don’t give statistics on miscarriages. This can make them feel unlucky and won’t help them.
  • Don’t be silent and shy away from them. This is one of the worst things you can do.


What you can do for them:

Listening is the best medicine. 

Most of the time, grieving parents just want someone to listen to them. They will want to talk about their experience, and may want to discuss it many times. In many instances, talking about your grief is one of the best ways to begin your journey of healing. 


Physical and emotional reactions.

A miscarriage does a lot to a woman’s body, both mentally and physically. Some will experience physical limitations such as a loss in appetite, poor sleep, restlessness, and low energy. Emotional stress will also cause panic, fear, nervousness, and even nightmares. These are all completely normal and are expected of someone who has just experienced a traumatic event. If you notice these reactions, keep an eye on their health and make sure they get in to see a doctor if it is becoming too much and affecting them extensively.


Talking about their trauma can help.

Encourage them to come to you to talk about anything that they are feeling. It’s been shown that talking about your problems releases pent up feelings and helps to relieve stress. For those who are grieving, talking about their emotions is a step forward in the healing process and can help them feel accepted and acknowledged. 


Ask how their spouse/partner is handling the loss.

A lot of people forget that a miscarriage not only affects the mom, but it also heavily affects their spouse/partner as well. Be mindful of both of their feelings and ask each of them how they are doing and if they need anything.


Simply say “I’m Sorry”.

The simplest of replies can have a huge impact on a grieving mom. If you’re at a loss for words, even just saying “I’m sorry” or acknowledging their loss can be so important to grieving mothers.

“Every single call, text and email counted. Just knowing someone was thinking of us helped, even if it was just “I’m so sorry”.



Talk about the baby.

It might be an uncomfortable topic for you, but mothers will want to hear their babies’ names, and may want to talk about hopes and dreams that you had thought about in the past. You can even make or buy something in memory of the baby and give it to the parent(s) as a memorial.


Know that they may want to be alone. 

Everyone has a different way of grieving. They may want to be left alone for a while to grieve in private. The best thing you can do in a time like this is assure them that you are there for them anytime and if/when they are ready to talk.


Offer to help with household chores.

Miscarriage (and birth) causes an emense amount of physical stress on mothers. For a while after, it will be hard for them to do housework, shopping, and even basic errands. Offering to help them with these simple tasks can be a great way to aid in easing their stress.

We all experience the struggle of trying to comfort someone who is dealing with loss. The best thing we can do is learn and try our best to help them through their process as best we can. Unfortunately, we can’t stop these events from happening, but we can be there to help when the need arises. 


If you’re worried that you or someone you know is struggling to cope after losing a baby, please discuss your concerns with a physician, therapist, or counselor. They will be able to guide you towards the needed support. There are many local organizations that are trained to give advice and support to grieving individuals as well.



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