No one wants to think about miscarriages when they're starting to plan their family. It's super sad and hard to even picture what it would be like. When a couple is expecting, they're planning for a happy and sweet future and thinking about what it'll be like to have a little one in their home and in their lives. They would never want to think about something like this. Unfortunately, many women go through this, and their friends and family might not even know about it because it happens to a lot of women and not everyone is comfortable sharing.
Like all things that have to do with pregnancy and parenting, it's always best to be informed, so let's take a look at the things that people should know about a miscarriage. People should also know what to say to a friend who is going through this and what they can do. It's not always obvious to know how to help but there are definitely ways to help someone with this tough experience, and everyone wants to be there for their nearest and dearest during hard times.
Read on to find out 10 things to know and 10 ways to help a friend going through this.
Let's start with the 10 ways to know about going through this...
20 You Don't Have To Announce It
We can imagine that when a woman goes through something like this, it's the last thing that she wants to think about or talk about. But we know that she would want a few people in her life to know what happened, so how would she reconcile those two things?
Parents.com has a smart and very compassionate idea: she can have someone else tell others and she doesn't have to be the one who announces it. As the website puts it perfectly, "If you're feeling too fragile to talk about [it] or to deal with other people's reactions, ask a friend, relative, or coworker to tell others so you don't have to discuss it."
19 The Healing Process
We know that after losing a baby, there would definitely be a healing process, but we might not know that this can be a different amount of time for everyone. This goes for women who have gone through this and also their partners.
Everyday Health says that some women can feel sad and need to heal for a longer period of time than their partner, and that's normal.
It's important in times like these to recognize that everyone has a unique journey and that we can't assume that we know what someone is going through or how long healing will take.
18 Feeling Sad
The first thing that we should know about what life after miscarriage is like is what someone will feel and what they'll be thinking about.
According to Everyday Health, you'll feel sad after having the loss of a pregnancy, and you'll also wonder a lot about why it happened.
The publication quoted Sarah Prager, MD, who is director of the family planning division at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and associate prof. of gynecology and obstetrics. Prager said, "Most of the time, there’s nothing a woman could have done differently to change the outcome of her pregnancy if she has a miscarriage."
What To Expect notes that there are "stages of grief" after a loss of pregnancy, much like the traditional ones that we have heard about, and one of them is "acceptance." It's important to know that this is part of the process of healing. We can assume that this would be tough to come to terms with, of course, but we can also see how it would be necessary.
As the publication says, "Finally, you’ll come to terms with the loss. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’ll forget the loss — just that you’ll be able to accept it and get back to the business of life."
16 Speaking To A Counselor
When you're going through a tough time, you might find that your sleep and eating and just your lifestyle and daily habits are different than they used to be. We can see how it would be hard to know what to do and how to deal with that, but there is something that you can do to get through this time.
What To Expect mentions that talking to someone, like a counselor, could be a good idea if a woman has insomnia or is not feeling good after the loss of a pregnancy.
Just like asking for help around the house, you have to remember that this is a good thing.
15 Not Mom's Fault
According to Redbook magazine, "Many women wonder if a miscarriage can be halted, so to speak, if symptoms are caught early enough. Sadly, there isn't anything that can be done."
Did we know this? We might or we might not. If we've sadly and unfortunately experienced this or know someone who has, we might be more familiar with the facts than someone else. But if we haven't, then we might not know since it's not something that isn't talked about as often as it should be. We can understand how someone would wonder if they could have stopped it, but of course, there is nothing that could have stopped it.
14 Future Kids Are Possible
Do we think that it's possible to get pregnant again after having a miscarriage?
It's definitely an important question, and we might not actually be sure. We may have heard that you can and we may have also heard that you can't. This is one of those topics that have a lot of different information out there.
We should definitely know the real answer and thanks to Everyday Health, we know this: many women do get pregnant later after having a losing a pregnancy. It doesn't mean you can't ever have children. It's a relief to hear that the dream of having a family won't be lost.
13 It Can Happen
We don't need to get into the symptoms or signs of a miscarriage because that seems to be something that we all know about. But we could also have one without these symptoms, which we might not have ever heard before.
According to Very Well Family, you could have a "missed miscarriage" which means that you don't have symptoms.
It's tough to imagine going through something like this and going to the doctor's office and hearing that this is what happened. It's good to know and be informed about this for sure, although it's not something that we want to think about.
12 Asking For Help
Asking for help after losing a baby it is not only totally normal but also a really good idea.
As Parents.com says, "As you recover from a miscarriage, ask friends and relatives to help with household chores, like laundry, errands, or cooking. You'll need time to physically and emotionally heal, and it can help to lighten some of your day-to-day responsibilities."
It's definitely important to know that you don't have to go through this alone and that asking for help is a smart thing to do. Everyone will want to help out and do what they can for you, so you don't have to worry about asking.
11 Questions Of Why
It makes sense that after a woman experiences a miscarriage, she would wonder why it happened. There are definitely going to be a lot of things running through her head, and we can imagine that it's a very tough time.
According to Very Well Family, there aren't always reasons why. As the publication says, "It's easy to assume that modern medicine has all the answers, but unfortunately, that's just not the case. Sometimes even reputable sources will have conflicting information about what do[...].Frustratingly often, there are simply more questions than answers—and that can be hard to accept."
And here are 10 ways to help a friend going through it...
10 Say You Understand How They Feel
We can also tell a friend that we understand how they feel, which is another helpful tip from American Pregnancy.
It's always good to tell someone that we know how they feel and we get it. Even if we assume that our friend knows what we're thinking and feeling and that we're there for them, we still need to make it super clear to them. We can remember that they're going through a really difficult period and that they need all the supportive words and actions from friends that they can get. Telling them that we understand them and their feelings is only going to help.
9 Put Together A Care Package
Motherly has a really good idea for how to help a friend who has had a miscarriage: make what they call "a comfort care package."
As this writer suggests, "Put together a box of comfort items. You probably have things around the house you could gather that would be much appreciated. Supply her with a DVD of a funny movie...her favorite coffee, a happy new mug, or anything that will let her know you're thinking of her no matter where she is in her grief process."
That sounds like a lovely way to show our friend that we care.
8 Make Them Some Food
In an article about what to do for a friend who has gone through this tough time, Babble suggests making them some food.
This might not be something that we think off right off the bat (we might think that saying that we're there for them or listening to them is more important) but, of course, food is crucial. And we can understand that it would be hard to cook or even eat after going through something really hard and sad. Even if we're not sure if our friend needs it, we can still give her some food and some meals, and we can remember that this will absolutely help her out.
7 Say You Will Be There When They're Ready To Chat
This tip from Buzzfeed makes a lot of sense: let our friend know that we're here to chat whenever she's ready. As the publication says, "She may not want to talk but a quick voicemail or text from a friend just to let them know that they are thinking about them is all you need to hear sometimes. She will call back when she is ready to talk."
This is a really good thing to remember whenever we're trying to help a friend through anything sad. We know that, of course, we want to be there for them, but that doesn't mean that they're ready to have a conversation about it right away.
6 Don't Say They Can Have More Kids
Insider.com suggests to never tell a friend, who has lost a baby, that they can have more kids.
We can definitely see both sides of this story: on the one hand, it would be tempting to say this because we would think that it would be helpful and compassionate, but on the other hand, we see how this would just make someone upset. This is one of those times when veering on the side of caution and not saying everything that pops into our heads would be better.
5 Never Say It Happened For A Reason
According to Buzzfeed, when we want to help a friend who has gone through a miscarriage, we shouldn't say clichés, including "Everything happens for a reason."
Again, we can see how we would feel like this would be the right thing to say, but it's a good reminder that it's definitely not.
All we have to do is think back to any hard time that we've experienced ourselves. If someone told us "Everything happens for a reason", did we think that it made us feel better? Not exactly. It might have made us feel worse. Once we think of it like this, we can see that saying these clichés wouldn't help.
4 Reassure Them
We know what not to say to our friend, but what should we say? If we're not sure at all, then knowing that we should reassure them is helpful.
We should also tell a friend "it's not your fault," which is another helpful and clever tip from Buzzfeed. This is a good thing to say because we can imagine how hard this is for them. The truth is that while losing a baby is never a woman's fault (because even if she did have a medical reason, no one would ever blame her for that), we know that this is how it can feel.
3 Mail A Sweet Card
Motherly suggests mailing a really sweet card to our friend who has had a miscarriage, and we think that it's a really great idea.
This makes sense since, again, they might not be ready to chat right away, but this allows them to read our kind, compassionate words in their own time and at their own pace. We're not insisting that they talk to us, we're just showing them that they're on our minds.
We can see how this would be a really lovely gesture, and that along with these other tips, we could definitely help our friend through this very tough time.
2 Say You're There For Them
If you have a friend who has experienced this, you know that you want to help... but you just don't know exactly how.
Insider.com quoted media psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge who says that telling your friend that you know that this was really tough is the best option: "The key is support, not downplaying or minimizing of her pain. 'I'm so sorry,' 'I'm here if you need anything,' (if you actually know them well) or 'my thoughts and love are with you' are all appropriate things to say."
Letting your friend know that you're there for them is always going to be a good idea during this tough time.
1 Be A Good Listener
What is something else that we can do for a friend after they have experienced a miscarriage? American Pregnancy notes that being a good listener is really important in this kind of situation.
Whenever we've gone through a difficult time in our lives, we can agree that hearing a friend say that they want us to be able to talk to them (and then actually seeing that they're a good listener) has meant so much. Of course, we always want our friends to listen to us, but this is even more crucial when a friend has experienced something like this.