Many people are afraid of saying the wrong thing to someone who has had a miscarriage. For those who have not been in this situation before, it’s easy to say something that can make the situation more painful. Still, it’s very important to say something and not pretend that it hasn’t happened.
To help you, here are the top things to avoid saying, and what to say instead.
What Not to Say to a Woman Who’s Had a Miscarriage
“You can always try again” – In most cases, this is true, but don’t say it. It’s inappropriate because now is the time for grieving. With the loss of a pregnancy have gone the hopes and dreams for the future.
You wouldn’t say ‘you can always try again’ if the child had been an infant. Don’t say it about a pregnancy.
“These things always happen for a reason” – Really? There’s enough guilt around after a miscarriage without adding to it with these words. They throw uncertainty into the mix, demanding that a woman consider whether or not she was worthy of a child or not. It’s not true and it’s not fair.
“It’s better this happened now” – There’s no good time to lose a pregnancy. It’s understandable that people might mean well, saying that it was better to lose a pregnancy earlier into the process than later, but it’s not something a woman wants to hear while going through the emotional pain and physical discomfort of miscarriage.
What to Say to a Woman Who’s Had a Miscarriage
“I’m sorry” – Telling a woman that you are sorry for her loss will be appreciated because it validates her right to feel sad and to grieve.
“Can I Do Anything?” – This is even better if you can suggest something in particular that needs doing. After a miscarriage, a woman is likely to be too overwhelmed to think clearly about what needs to be done.
If you can offer to watch existing children or take them to school, do some shopping, wash the dishes, or deliver a meal, this can contribute greatly to her feeling loved and to the practicalities of daily life.
“I’m Here If You Want to Talk” – Let her know that these aren’t just words. It’s very important for anyone grieving to have a strong support network. Whether you are called upon or not, being available will be an additional comfort.
If someone you love has had a miscarriage, take some time to think about what you will say to them. Let them know that you are thinking of them, whether by card, on the phone, or in person. Be prepared to listen afterward as this can be a great help and a great comfort.