There is power in words, so we should always think before we speak. This is especially true if we need to offer some words of comfort to someone who has just had a miscarriage. When someone finds out that they are pregnant, there is always a cause for celebration. For most people, it is the happiest time of their lives. So, the heartbreak that is experienced when a miscarriage is involved can be devastating. Thinking carefully and weighing your words is vital. What you say at this sensitive time will have a lasting impression on someone who is suffering.
What to Do and Say to Your Wife After a Miscarriage
If your wife has had a miscarriage, it is one of the most devastating things in the world because it was your baby too. However, your wife will need you the most at this time, so you need to stay strong for her. If you are at a loss for words, here are some things that you can do for her and the things that you can say to her that may help her. Together, the two of you can overcome this tragic loss.
1. Take the First Step
It is one thing if the miscarriage happens all of a sudden, but sometimes, you know that it is coming. Your wife may have felt that something was wrong, and the doctor confirmed the devastating news. The days that lead up to it have a different misery, one filled with dread. When it finally happens, the pain can sometimes be too much to bear.
If your partner has not miscarried yet and has only gotten the news that it will happen, then you will need to figure out how to go about getting things done. Either your wife will be able to miscarry naturally, or she will need to have a surgery done. In other cases, it is a simple matter of taking a pill to help remove the foetus. If nothing is done, it will cause an infection and endanger your wife. Consult your doctor and help your wife to take the next step.
2. Go Through It Together
You may not be the one to physically miscarry, but while your wife is having the miscarriage, stay with her. If it happens at night, stay awake and help her. Even the small gestures will be comforting to her. Prepare a hot compress for her to ease the pain, rub her back, massage her feet, or just be there. She will be in a lot of pain, so your presence will be a source of great comfort to her.
3. Make Sure She Eats
During a time of depression and grief, coupled with physical pain, your wife may not want to eat. It is important for you to make sure that she does. She needs to keep up her strength. After all, a miscarriage causes the loss of a lot of nutrients and blood. For some women, eating is actually comforting. But for others, they lose their appetite. You should make sure that both of you are eating enough and drinking enough water.
4. Express Yourself
You should let your wife know that the emotional pain she feels is shared by you. You feel like your world has just come crashing down too. While you are trying to stay strong, your wife may assume you don’t feel anything. Assure her that you feel it too. Be open with her, and let her know that you are just trying to stay strong for her. If you keep your feelings bottled up, it is going to hamper your healing. Being open with your wife about what you are feeling will eventually help the both of you heal together. She won’t feel so alone, and you will both be able to comfort each other.
5. Reassure Her
Women who miscarry can often feel like there is something wrong with them. Your wife may be going through the same thing. She may end up blaming herself, blaming her body and trying to understand why the baby in her body had to die.
You will need to be strong here. Just hold her and let her know that there is nothing wrong with her. At least 15% of women who confirm their pregnancies, end up miscarrying. Let her know that this is just something that some women go through. It does not mean there is anything wrong with her or her body. It is so very frustrating, but at the end of the day, it is not her fault.
6. Share Your Experience
Having a miscarriage is no easy experience, and you will need time to heal from it. While you may want to keep this experience to yourself, it can sometimes be better to talk about it to others. It may surprise you how many other couples will confess that it happened to them too. Knowing you are not alone in this, even as a couple, can be of great help. It can help you to understand that there is nothing wrong with you as a couple, but that this sometimes just happens.
What to Say to Your Friend After a Miscarriage
If you have a friend who has had a miscarriage, you are going to want to be there to offer your comfort and support. Whether or not you have been through a miscarriage before, it can be very difficult knowing what to say. Here are a few things that you can say, do or write to someone who has had a miscarriage:
1. Offer Condolences
One of the best things that you can do in a situation like this is to simply offer up your condolences. You can even ask her how she is feeling, and if she is ready to talk, she will. But even if she chooses not to, it is ok. She may not be ready to talk about it yet.
More than saying anything, it is sometimes more important to listen. Your friend has just been through something traumatising. There are no words that can bring true comfort. Instead, let her know that you are there for her if she ever needs to talk. If she does, listen.
3. Don’t Be a Know-It-All
While your friend is talking, she is bound to be upset and wonder why this has happened to her. Do not try to answer this question, even if you think you know the answer. Just tell her you don’t know, but that you are so sorry that it did happen to her. Even doctors are still trying to understand why some miscarriages take place. Instead, just listen.
4. Don’t Blame Yourself
Women who miscarry often blame themselves. They seem to be convinced that there is something wrong with them and that is why they miscarried. You need to let her know that it is not her fault. This is probably the only time that it is ok to interrupt your friend. After all, it will do her no good to go about thinking that she is to blame for something that happens to many women. Be compassionate. Remind her that she did not do anything deserving of this loss. Sometimes, bad things just happen, and nobody can understand why they do, but that she is not to blame for it.
5. Remember Her
When a tragedy occurs, many people will reach out immediately to offer up their sympathy. If you want to make sure your friend is doing ok, you should keep checking up on her. Sometimes, it may seem like a person is ok, and sometime down the line, the real grieving kicks in. After all, when something happens, it can sometimes be a flurry of activities and things to do. When things start to calm down is when the sense of loss can reach its peak. Continue to check on your friend to make sure that everything is ok. Whether you are just sending messages or calling her often, make sure she never forgets that you are thinking of her and worrying about her.
6. Be Helpful
When someone is grieving, it is not easy to go about with daily activities. One way that you can help is by offering up some help. You could help out by getting her a gift card that is from her favourite restaurant, bringing her home-cooked meals every now and then, dropping by and making her some tea and being available to chat. If your friend already has children, you can offer to watch them so that she has a bit of time to grieve or be alone for some time. You can even make sure to drop by to ensure everything in the homestead is running smoothly if it is possible.
Things You Should Not Say to Someone Who’s Had a Miscarriage
If you are too eager to try to comfort your friend, you may accidentally say something that could be more hurtful than it is helpful. Even things that are well-intentioned can come off as hurtful if they are not said at the right time. Here are some things that you should never say to anyone who has just had a miscarriage:
1. This Happens to Many Women
While it is true that miscarriages are common, it is not something that will make a grieving mother feel better. Even if it happens to many women, your loved one will still need your love and support instead of being told it is not a big deal.
2. It Was Just Tissue
In a time when wilful abortions are trying to be legalised, a foetus is looked at by some people as just tissue. However, many women begin to bond with their babies right from the time they are certain they are pregnant. The baby was real to the expecting mother. It doesn’t matter that the pregnancy was short-lived, because the love that a mother has for her child right from when the baby is in the womb, is very strong. This is the absolute worst thing that anyone can say to a mother who has just lost her child.
3. It Was Not Meant to Happen
While many people think that saying something was not meant to happen or that things happen for a specific reason is comforting, it will only make the grieving mother feel worse. To say that she should not have had a baby at this time will make her wonder if she would have been unfit or incapable.
4. Be Grateful You Can Conceive
Yes, there are so many barren women in the world who struggle to even conceive, but this not make the pain a mother feels when she loses her baby any less. After all, even if she can get pregnant, what is the point if she cannot carry her baby to term? For some, it is even more painful to have had a baby and lost it than to have never had one at all.
5. You Should Not Have/ Should Have Done This
‘You should not have done this exercise’, ‘you should not have consumed that meal’, ‘you should have been eating this’, or ‘you should have been doing that’- all these things are insensitive and should not be told to a mother who is grieving.
When someone miscarries, it is such a tragic loss, whether it may be your partner, your family member or your friend, remember that the key is to be empathetic, to be there, to listen more than talk and to offer to do things that will make it easier for them to cope. At the end of the day, the grief needs to be experienced, not ignored, so being there to support your loved one is the most important thing that you can do for them at this sensitive time.