For some parents, they are so overwhelmed and absorbed by the effects miscarriage that they don’t think to include the children.
Miscarriage affects entire families. Your partner will be feeling grief and if you have children – whether from this relationship, a previous relationship, or a partner’s previous relationship – they will know that something is wrong too.
How do children react to miscarriage?
How children react to miscarriage will vary depending on their age. No matter what their age, however, they will understand that their parents are sad. A normal reaction for a child would be to wonder if whatever is wrong is their fault.
Some children are forthcoming about their fears and anxieties. Many times, however, children will attempt to keep their emotions hidden, especially if they think that what has happened might be their fault.
Even if your child seems to be coping well with the miscarriage, note that silence on the subject doesn’t mean that it hasn’t affected them. If they are not speaking about what has happened, they may still be thinking about it and worrying about it.
I’ve seen and heard of situations in which well-meaning parents have attempted to protect their children by trying not to be sad in front of them. Some have hidden the subject matter entirely. Many of these parents have assumed that their children are okay with the miscarriage because those kids haven’t expressed sadness about it, but this is often far from the truth.
Sharing the grief of miscarriage
If you haven’t spoken with your child or children about your miscarriage, it’s imperative to do so. The fastest way for everyone to get through what has happened is to talk about it and to feel able to do so whenever they want.
As a general rule of thumb, the older the child, the less explanation they’ll need from you and about what happened and why. Above all, you need to make sure that the child understands that the loss of the baby was not their fault. You should also make sure that children understand that it’s okay to feel sad.
By sharing your grief, not hiding it, you will all get through this period together, as a family. These deep feelings of sadness and grief will not last forever, and you are likely to grow closer as a family as a result.