Miscarriage. It’s such an ugly word. So many women suffer silently that the world often doesn’t realize how common the unfortunate event is. More than 80% of miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy.
No matter the timing of the miscarriage, the effects are devastating to the family, but especially the mother. If you’ve never experienced a miscarriage, you may struggle with how to support your friend.
What does she need?
What should I say?
Do I need to give her space?
Before having a miscarriage, I didn’t know what to say except, I’m sorry. I wanted to do and say more, but had no idea what my friend might need. Here are a few tips to help you support your friend through her miscarriage loss:
Usually, moms are the ones who are responsible for preparing meals every evening for the family. After a miscarriage, cooking is usually the last thing on your friend’s mind. You can help lighten the load by preparing a meal or purchasing a gift card.
It’s human nature to want to fix problems. We don’t want to see people suffer. It pains us to see the ones we love grieve. There’s nothing you can say to ease her pain. She’s grieving the loss of her child. She may want to just talk to you about her feelings. That doesn’t always require a response. Just be there to listen.
Help Her With Household Chores
Whether she works outside of the home or is a stay at home mom, it may be awhile until she can return to her regular household duties. Many women suffer from depression while they are grieving, which makes it difficult to do much of anything. When you come over to visit, help her fold some laundry or do the dishes.
Share Your Story
Miscarriage can be a lonely place. You feel as if you are alone and no one understands you. These thoughts are emotionally and physically taxing.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, share your experience. Your friend may find comfort in knowing that you have felt the same pain she is feeling. You may find healing in sharing your story as well.
Remind Them the Miscarriage is Not Their Fault
You can never repeat these words too much. She needs to hear them.
When you run out of words, you can always give hugs. Extending a little affection through a hug may be just what your friend needs to get through the day.
Give Them Time to Grieve
Grief is a personalized experience. Not everyone grieves in the same way or at the same time. Know that they may not be the same person for awhile, and that’s okay. Allow them to grieve privately if that’s what they need. Remind them that you are there if you need them.
Be sure to validate your friend’s loss.
Know that they’ll never forget the loss-months and years down the road may still be difficult for them, especially around the anniversary of what would have been their child’s birth. They may have emotional outbursts at what seem to be random moments.