When I was experiencing my miscarriages back in 2012 and 2013, I had no other family or friends who had experienced pregnancy losses (or gone through IVF).
I felt very alone at times despite opening up to some family, friends and colleagues. I did my best to arrange supports for myself like seeing a psychologist, trying to open up to those close to me, change work arrangements and I tried to connect with others that had experienced loss (online).
I was met with kindness and love but also met with a lack of understanding and support as well. I was told such statements like “there must have been something wrong with it (my baby)”, “you’re still young”, “well now you can have a drink at…”
These statements, lacked validation and lacked acknowledgement of my grief because a) to me that was my baby and b) I had fertility issues so couldn’t just go and get pregnant again. It made my grief harder and I felt more isolated. There are a few friends from this time that drifted away who perhaps couldn’t handle the pain and hurt I was in.
If you are informed that a loved one or colleague has had a miscarriage, an embryo fail to implant or a later loss here are some ways you can support them.
🥀1.Listen: With an open non-judgemental heart. DO NOT offer platitudes like “it was meant to be or “it was early you can try again”.
🥀2.Validate Feelings: To this mama it was their baby. All of their dreams for this babies future are now lost. Show you understand by showing genuine empathy and using statements like “I am sorry for your loss”, “I wish you didn’t have to go through this grief and pain” or “what can I do to help”.
🥀3.Practical Support: Those that have miscarried are still going through postpartum. You can provide warming and nourishing meals, tidy up when you visit, offer to do their shopping or take her to appointments.
🥀4.Encourage Self-Care: There is emotional and physical healing that is occurring. You can provide a gift of healing and memory making items, take care of older children so she can have a bath or nap, take her for a grounding walk in nature or give her a hand or foot massage.
🥀5.Link With Supports: Offer to link her with supports for her emotional healing. When we are grieving it can be hard to make a call or research what supports are out there. Do the leg work for her. A few support options to start with are –
➡️GP for a mental health plan
➡️Centre for perinatal psychology
➡️pink elephants support network
➡️support from me
It is so hard to know how to support someone going through miscarriage. The main thing you can do is allow space for them to grieve and talk if they need. Never dismiss the loss of a baby lost to miscarriage.
If you would like to gift them something to show your support, then DM me about my pregnancy loss hamper.