8 Things to Say When Someone Has a Miscarriage

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Words are powerful and what you say to your friend or family member after a miscarriage can leave a lasting impression. Even if you've suffered a pregnancy loss yourself, it can be hard to know exactly what to say when someone you love has a miscarriage. You want to say the right thing, but you might not be sure what that is.

If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. With as many as 15% of known pregnancies ending with a miscarriage, almost everyone knows at least one person who has experienced pregnancy loss. Finding the right words to express your sorrow and offer comfort doesn't get any easier though.

With these tips, you can learn what to say, what to avoid, and how to give your loved one the space they may need to grieve. Ultimately, aim to speak from the heart and simply let your friend or loved one know that you care and are there for them. Here are some things you can say when someone has a miscarriage.

What to Say When Someone Has a Miscarriage

While there is no one perfect thing to say when someone has a miscarriage, these phrases are a good place to start.

  • I'm so sorry
  • I'm listening
  • I don't know
  • You're not to blame
  • Your feelings matter
  • I'm thinking of you
  • I have something for you
  • I haven't forgotten you

I'm So Sorry

When you hear that your friend or family member has suffered a miscarriage, you need to offer your condolences. Typically, saying "I'm sorry," or "I'm here for you if you want to talk," are the best things you can say to someone struggling with loss. You also can ask questions like, "How do you feel?" in order to encourage your loved one to open up.

But don't force a person who has experienced a loss to share if they are not ready.

Instead, follow their lead. Some will share everything while others just want you to sit with them and hold their hand. Meanwhile, others don't want to talk or be around people. They may withdraw from friends and family, preferring solitude. If your loved one is pulling away, it may be their way of coping. Allow them space and don't try to force them to talk before they are ready.

I'm Listening

If your loved one does want to talk, let them know you're listening. Also, try to keep an open mind and an open heart. Don't discourage your friend from sharing their thoughts and emotions—even if they say the same things over and over again.

Not only do some people find this type of talking therapeutic, but it also may be their way of processing such a painful experience. Be willing to sit and listen as long as your schedule allows.

I Don't Know

If your loved one asks, "Why did this happen?" don't try to answer the question. They may not even want an answer. Instead, respond with: "I don't know. I am so sorry this happened."

Refrain from offering advice or saying something like "maybe there was something wrong with the baby," or "your body was just doing its job." These types of comments are not comforting. And the truth is, you really don't know what happened. Even most doctors don't know why the majority of miscarriages occur. Keep your focus on comforting your loved one and listening instead.

You're Not to Blame

The only time you should interrupt your loved one while they are talking is if they start blaming themselves. Gently remind them that they are not to blame for the miscarriage. While it's not uncommon to feel a sense of shame, guilt, or even self-blame after a miscarriage, reassure your friend or relative that they did nothing to deserve this loss. Be thoughtful, compassionate, and empathetic.

Likewise, encourage your friend to be gentle with themselves, not to push too hard, and to take time to care for their body.

Your Feelings Matter

Everyone is different. Consequently, each person will experience a miscarriage in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Likewise, there is no set amount of time to grieve the loss of a pregnancy.

For this reason, be careful not to tell loved ones what they should feel or when they should be moving on. Support them regardless of what their feelings look like. If your loved one is starting to display signs of depression, you could gently suggest that they talk with her doctor about their feelings.

You also can contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on depression and treatment in your area.

I'm Thinking of You

Consider sending a card or flowers to let your loved one know you're thinking of them. Remember that your friend or family member has lost a child and be sensitive to that fact. Don't minimize the loss or assume their grief will dissipate quickly. Most likely, they started to envision their child and likely feel that they lost a baby, not just a pregnancy.

It may be a while before they feel like themselves again. So, try to check in with your loved one regularly. Ask how they are feeling, if they want to talk, or if they need anything.

I Have Something for You

It's also a good idea to offer practical help—like a home-cooked meal, a gift card for their favorite takeout food, or even a warm cup of tea. Remember, it can be hard for people to ask for help even when they need it.

So, bring dinner over one night so they don't have to cook. Or, if they have other children, offer to watch them so she can have some alone time. You could even offer to accompany them to any follow-up doctor's appointments. Be the type of friend you might imagine you would want if you were in the same situation.

I Haven't Forgotten You

Most people reach out right away when someone has a miscarriage, but then go about their lives. It's important that you continue to check in with your friend or family member and make sure they are doing OK.

There is no set time that someone will grieve and things may actually get worse before they get better.

Check in periodically with a quick call or text message. Ask if they need anything, if they want to talk, or if they would like to grab coffee. Pretending like their grief doesn't exist or that they should be over it by now is insensitive and inconsiderate.

A Word From Verywell

Even if you feel uncomfortable, awkward, and completely outside of your element, you still need to say something to your friend. Ignoring the issue or pretending like it doesn't exist is more painful than saying the wrong thing.

Be there for your loved one as best as you can. Most likely, they will be reeling and in shock for a while. But years from now, they will look back on this time and remember your love and support.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. March of Dimes. Miscarriage.

  2. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What are the causes of and risks for pregnancy loss?.

By Krissi Danielsson
Krissi Danielsson, MD is a doctor of family medicine and an advocate for those who have experienced miscarriage.