Things Not to Say to Someone After a Miscarriage

Don't Say That to Someone Who Has Had a Miscarriage!

Sad woman
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Miscarriage rates are often said to be about one in every five pregnancies. This means that we will all know someone who has experienced a miscarriage in our lives. In trying to be helpful and caring, we often find ourselves saying things that we think would make the person feel better, but in fact, makes them feel worse. So here's a list of thing not to say to someone who has had a miscarriage, or you might hear me say, "Don't say that!"

Never say these phrases:

  1. "You can always have another."
    They don't want another baby, they want this baby. You might mean well and you might be trying to point them to the future, but right now they want and need to grieve for the baby that they have lost. Or they might even have had a previous loss.
  2. "Now you have an angel looking after you."
    They don't want an angel, they want their baby back. Even if someone finds comfort in the faith or religion, most still believe that they would have been much happier with their baby with them.
  3. "It's for the best."
    Best for whom? Given the physical, and emotional pain that they are likely feeling, they probably cannot fathom how it was better for them to have a miscarriage. 
  4. "At least you didn't know your baby."
    Whether you held your baby in your arms or only in your mind, this baby is real. Even before pregnancy, most of us have a dream or ideal baby in our minds. This is an important part of coming to terms with pregnancy. Even in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, this baby has at the very least that identity, and even more of a specific personality in the later weeks of pregnancy.
  1. "There must have been something wrong..."
    Wrong with me? Wrong with my partner? What do you mean by wrong? Most parents would gladly, at this point, be willing to take the chance of something being wrong to prevent the heartache they are feeling.
  2. "Did you do something you weren't supposed to do?
    Did I cause this? How could I have hurt my baby? I really hope you don't say that. Even if there is nothing the parents could have done to prevent the miscarriage, there will always be a feeling of guilt. Could they have done something differently? Eat more? Eat better? Sleep more? Not work out? Read more... The list never ends.
  1. "I understand how you feel."
    Even if you have had a miscarriage, everyone feels their grief uniquely. Even though you may have had similar feelings, they really just need you to listen and be there with them. It's also okay to acknowledge that you are not in a place to help them because of your own grief.
  2. "Have you ever thought of not having children?"
    Yes, I probably have. I realize that I may never be a mother. Don't even go there.
  3. "Be grateful for the children you have..."
    It isn't a question of being ungrateful or not appreciating what I have.

Things to say to someone who has had a miscarriage:

  • "I'm sorry."
  • "What can I do to help?"
  • "I'm here for you."

Remember to take your time and be kind and gentle with your friend or relative. Everyone has their own grieving ways and time frame. Don't expect them to "get over it." Just be there and offer a shoulder and a comforting hug.