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How to support someone who has suffered a miscarriage
How to support someone who has suffered a miscarriage

Health Care

How to support someone who has suffered a miscarriage

It can be hard to know what to say when someone close to you suffers a miscarriage, or how you can best support them following such a devastating loss. You should also always remember that people grieve in their own way and in their own time – it’s not your place to judge if their grief is too much or too little. While everyone is different, the following advice will hopefully offer you some helpful suggestions for ways in which you can be there for your friend and their partner.

Acknowledge the loss

Although miscarriage is a difficult and sensitive topic, avoiding the subject altogether can do even more harm. Even if you’re not sure of what to say, just letting someone know that you’re there for them can help. Don’t push the topic – you can let them take the lead as to whether or not they are ready to talk about it. Similarly, if the parents had picked out a name for their baby, do use it as a way to acknowledge their loss.

Choose your words carefully

While there’s no easy answer to what the right words are, there are some cliches and platitudes which are best avoided when talking to someone who has had a miscarriage. These include phrases such as ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ and ‘everything happens for a reason’, as well as any sentence beginning with ‘at least’. Although meant well, such words can sound dismissive of someone’s loss and do more harm than good. It’s also best to avoid offering any advice unless it’s explicitly asked for, in case it makes your friend feel as though they are to be blamed for what’s happened.

Send a gift

Sending a gift might not be the first action you think of when it comes to supporting someone through a miscarriage; however, it can be a thoughtful way to let your friend know that you’re thinking of them. Companies such as Laurelbox offer a range of heartfelt gift boxes specially curated for mothers who have miscarried, and there are also supportive cards designed by people who have suffered a miscarriage themselves that can help you find the right words.

Offer practical help

Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and one of the best ways in which you can help is simply to pitch in. Offering to drop by with a home-cooked meal can be a lovely gesture, or you could volunteer to do a grocery shop for your friend. Often the last thing a grieving parent wants to do is handle household chores, so depending on how close you are, if you step in and take care of the dishes or put on a load of laundry, it’s sure to be a huge help.

Simply be there to listen

At the end of the day, just being there for your grieving friend is more important than finding the perfect words to say to them. A hug can be worth a thousand words, and if you’re not sure what help you can offer then simply ask if there’s anything you can do. When your friend is ready to talk, be there for them and listen – however long it takes. There are also charities and nonprofit organizations out there who offer dedicated support to grieving parents, so if appropriate, you could also put your friend in touch with one of them.

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