A pregnancy loss is a loss that is very personal and affects people in a way that could be hard to express in words. You might not even know what to say when a friend or family breaks the news to you. You might even feel that it’s better to not say anything at all in such situations. People are different and react in different ways too. What one person appreciates might trigger the other person. It’s important to listen in such situations more than you should speak.
You don’t need to have experienced a pregnancy loss to say something soothing to a person going through this situation. You need to give them a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, sympathetic conversations, and some TLC.
A miscarriage is still is a loss, it doesn’t matter how early it happened. There’s all the information out there on how to congratulate expecting parents and what gifts to give an expecting mum but there is hardly any information on how can we support someone who has experienced a miscarriage.
On a regular day, we met a few friends for coffee and were enjoying our cuppa when our friends broke down the news of their miscarriage to us, I was stunned to find out that one of our very close couple friends had a miscarriage. I had absolutely no words to soothe my friend; I did not even know that they were trying to get pregnant. It took me some time to compose myself and have a conversation with my friend. All I could gather to say after a long pause was that how sorry I was. There is a rush of intense emotions when we hear about a close friend's pregnancy loss.
Read on to know about how can you support a friend who has experienced a miscarriage? Here are a few helpful things you can say
Give Them A Listening Ear
It’s nice to let the grieving mom take a lead on their experience and you should provide them a safe place to come and express their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, people just need someone who can listen to them rather than advise them. If you’ve experienced something similar talk out of your experience and add only if you can give a deep insightful advice. Acknowledge their loss and ask them how are they feeling and if they don’t want to talk about it. Don’t nudge too much, just be there for them. They will let you know when they need you.
Help With Daily Chores
Along with emotional trauma, a miscarriage is very difficult physically too. The bleeding is uncontrollable and the cramps are killing. So offer to clean up their house or if they need any dry-cleaning to be picked up. If they need any help with pick up or drops of the other kids.
Send A Card/Meal/Flowers
If you are not in the same city as your friend or if you can’t be physically present for them, send them a little care package. You could send a meal or get them flowers even a small card that says, thinking of you or stay strong would be a really nice gesture.
Use The Baby’s Name
If the parents address their unborn child with a name, take that as a cue and use it whenever you have a conversation about the same. This will make them feel heard. This is a small way to keep the memory alive for the parents.
Extend Social Invites
Sometimes we might feel like the grieving couple might not want to socialize, but there is no harm in gently extending an invite to them and checking if they are in a mood to step out, everyone can use a little pick-me-up. Don’t exclude them if you are planning an event with kids, a play date, or an outing, it’s painful to see them not being invited because of what they have gone through. They will let you if they are not in a state of mind to socialize or step out.
Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice
Avoid giving advice until explicitly asked for. Sometimes we might feel like giving a few suggestions but it’s better to not talk unless your friend asks for it. Sometimes people might feel that they did something wrong to have experienced this situation but just be there for them and give them a listening ear
Don’t Forget The Father
There are two parents involved and when you extend your support to the couple, be equally supportive of the father too. Men grieve differently than women. A woman might be physically in pain but a dad would be experiencing his own share of mental pain. The dads might be equally heartbroken but would be trying to keep it together for the mom.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is, simply ask the person if they need anything. Give them their time and space to heal, also remember that they might never forget their loss. Respect their privacy if they decide to not share the news with all your mutual friends.