Gifts to Avoid Giving Someone Who's Had a Miscarriage

Sad little teddy bear

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If someone close to you has had a miscarriage or stillbirth, it's kind of you to want to get them a supportive gift. Many grieving parents appreciate it when their pregnancy loss is acknowledged by those close to them. Emotions can run high after such a loss, and sometimes gestures made out of a desire to be helpful can be interpreted in an unintended way. Sympathy cards are usually a good bet, but if you are contemplating gifts, try to steer clear of the following items.

1. Reborn Dolls

Although the idea of giving a reborn doll (a lifelike doll that closely resembles a newborn baby) may sound thoughtful, especially as a gift for someone who suffered a stillbirth, giving a newborn-like doll might not be appreciated. There are women out there who find reborn dolls to be a comfort when coping with pregnancy loss, but others may find such a gift to be a disturbing reminder of what was lost. Never make an assumption even for someone you are close to, and never give one as a surprise gift.

2. Teddy Bears

As with a reborn doll, not everyone wants such a reminder of what they've lost. Because the specific person's response is unpredictable, don't get one for your grieving friend or relative unless you have talked to them about it.

3. Items With Images of Babies

Many women who have suffered a pregnancy loss find it emotionally painful to be around babies, and oftentimes even looking at a picture of a baby can lead to tears. There are always exceptions, but to be on the safe side, steer clear of giving gifts that have clear images of newborn infants or young children.

4. Baby Care Items

Even if you know that your grieving friend or relative plans on trying to get pregnant again, baby items are not a good gift to give to someone who has recently lost a pregnancy. Such gifts might seem like a statement of hope, but it's impossible to predict the future, and your gesture of faith might seem misguided. You don't know if they will miscarry again or have fertility problems, and if they do, they're not going to want baby toys or care items sitting around. Save baby-related gifts for the future baby shower.

5. "How-to" Pregnancy Books

Books on coping with a miscarriage are acceptable gifts if you are sure that the book is well-written and sensitive—such as if it is a book you read and appreciated after your own miscarriage. Stay away from giving books that are guides on how to have a healthy pregnancy. Even if it's not your intent, such books might make your friend or family member feel like you're implying they did something to cause their pregnancy loss or that they need instructions in order to have a successful pregnancy.

6. Plants

Plants can be an excellent gift if the person receiving them has no trouble keeping them alive. However, for someone who isn't good with plants, it can be hard to watch a houseplant die when it was given for comfort after losing a baby. If you want to give a plant as a gift and don't know whether the intended recipient has a green thumb, choose an extremely hardy, low-maintenance plant that is known to be good for people who have trouble keeping houseplants alive.

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