How To Comfort Someone Through A Miscarriage 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month and on Sunday night my timeline was full of candles lit for the #waveoflight done every October 15th in memory of lost babies everywhere.

More and more women are speaking out about their experiences of miscarriage. It’s so encouraging to see the solidarity and friendship emerging from a place of such sadness.

Despite this openness, there still seems to be that degree of awkwardness when it comes to talking to someone who has had a miscarriage.

From experience I know people find it hard to know what to say to a couple who have lost their baby. When we had our miscarriage, friends and family wanted to be supportive but simply didn’t know what to say.

Here’s what we found to be helpful (and not so…)

Let her know you’re thinking of her.

It can be hard to know what to say. So tell her that. Saying “I don’t have the words but please know I’m thinking of you” is so much better than not saying anything at all out of awkwardness.

A quick “you’re in my thoughts” text just to let her know you’re thinking of her could mean the world to her.

Listen to her.

This one may seem obvious but just listen to her. Be a shoulder to cry on. You don’t even need to say anything. Just let her vent. Let her be angry. Let her be sad. Let her grieve.

Realise she may not want to talk about her miscarriage.

On the other hand she may not want to talk about it all. That’s ok too! There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Don’t put a time limit on their grief.

Again, everyone grieves differently. Just don’t expect her to be “back to normal” within a couple of weeks. All that will do is show her she can no longer confide in you and she will keep her feelings to herself.

Don’t forget Dad.

I realise I’ve written “her” and “she” a lot during this post but please remember the baby had a dad as well as a mum. He is also grieving while trying to support his partner/wife and deserves the same level of compassion.

Things I did not find helpful:

  • “You’re lucky you have another child to focus on.”

Please don’t use the word lucky when relating to anything to do with miscarriage. There’s nothing “lucky” about it.

  • “It’s all part of God’s plan”

Great. Well with all due respect, God can take a hike.

  • “Do you think it was something you did?”

This was actually said to me by an ex colleague. It haunts me even now, over six years after our loss.

Please also don’t imply others have had it worse. There are so many heartbreaking stories of loss but that doesn’t negate someone else’s feelings. They’re all completely valid.

I understand it’s hard to know what to say. But rather than offering empty platitudes just offer a shoulder to cry on. Just be there.

Just be a friend.

Run Jump Scrap

29 comments

  1. This is all such valuable advice. The last thing you want to hear is stuff like “oh well, it’s not as bad as so and so” or “you are lucky really, you still have”… It’s very important not to forget the dads too. Thank you!

  2. Unfortunately I went through this a few years ago in my 2nd trimester! I def felt the awkward moments from people when you could tell they just weren’t sure what to say. I cant honestly say nothing was worse than hearing people say whats meant to be or gods plan….. can you see me rolling my eyes

  3. I lost my 4 and a half years ago….and this is what I have learned

    I hate platitudes with a passion.
    Time doesn’t heal all wounds
    There is no such thing as “moving on”
    It was God’s will- well riddle me this…how is it that God only could stand being without his son for 43 days while asking us to endure decades of being without our loved ones.

  4. This must be one of the hardest things ever for anyone to have to cope with. Great tips and I agree as with doping with any death there are certain things people have to be careful not to say.

  5. This post is very important, so thank you for writing it. Every person grieves differently and every person is going to need a different type of support from those around them. Just letting someone know that you are there – can often be enough. There is no easy way to grieve this kind of loss and I think this post will really help those who don’t know how they can supportive to those around them.

  6. Thank you -some great tips here, especially for someone who is lucky enough not to have experienced this yet x

  7. I think you are absolutely right about just being there and offering support to everyone involved from the mother to the father. It must be the most horrible experience to go through and I couldn’t imagine the pain and loss you feel x

  8. It is always hard to know what to say or what to do, but your advice is lovely. When I went through this myself, I almost didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted to hide, and then I’d get angry. Everyone I knew was so lovely, gave me space, was there when I needed it. Support is a huge part of the healing process.

  9. i agree with all the unhelpful comments. I don’t need to be told how lucky I am, because miscarriage is the exact opposite of that. I’d like to believe if there were a God, he wouldn’t bestow this kind of pain on anyone, and blaming someone isn’t a way of the healing process.

  10. It can be so hard to know what to do when you haven’t been in their shoes. Even when you have, it’s hard not to compare and share. This is a great post, with great advise!

  11. Great post, and something I can relate to. I lost 15 babies to miscarriage and our son to stillbirth at full term, I heard all of these things and more. Being there for someone is all that we really want. xx

  12. This is an excellent post. I have had a total if 5 miscarriages and the first 3 before I had my daughter. A further 2 between my son and younger daughter. The worst was being told I was lucky to have any children. Xx

  13. This is a really useful post, I’ve experienced loss myself and I find talking about it bluntly helps me but everyone is different. I think posts like this help to break down the taboo. Im so sorry for your losses xx

  14. I suffered an early miscarriage years ago and luckily wasn’t subjected to anything as crass as “do you think it was something you did”? Some people can be so insensitive but I agree it’s a difficult subject to broach. Let them talk about it if they want to and don’t intrude would be my advice.

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