Over the years as a fertility and bereavement counsellor in Beaconsfield, I have seen how couples who have gone through miscarriage don’t just grieve over the loss of their child. They can also, in many cases, worry quite heavily about what their friends, family, and colleagues will say about what has happened. Having to explain the situation to others, along with hearing what they say back, can be a challenging experience.
Miscarriage is such a sensitive topic, and while those around you obviously only mean well and want to support you, it is common for them to say the wrong thing and make the situation worse. If you have a loved one who is going through miscarriage, this blog post gives you some pointers about what not to say when discussing this challenging topic.
You Can Always Try Again
This is perhaps the most common response someone might have to hearing of a friend or family member going through a miscarriage. I know that the sentiment behind this quote is warm, and encourages the persons involved to look towards the future, rather than dwell on the past, but it fails to recognise the most crucial point: that they don’t want another baby, they want this baby. Perhaps one day they will try again, but at this early stage, they are still grieving over the child they have lost, so acknowledging that is important.
A Quarter of Pregnancies End in Miscarriage
I know that people often use this statistic in an attempt to ‘normalise’ the miscarriage, but in doing so it also turns something extremely real – and painful – into just another number, which is not something the affected party wants to hear. Also, it is worth remembering that the person who has gone through the miscarriage definitely knows this statistic already. They have no doubt scoured forums and read plenty of articles, so they don’t need to hear it from anyone else.
At Least It Happened Early
This is a particularly insensitive one. The implication here is that just because the couple didn’t know their baby, it is less painful than if they were to lose that baby at a young age. What people who haven’t miscarried before often don’t know, however, is that the expecting mother and father have a dream baby in their minds from the moment they get that positive result – something that grows as the pregnancy progresses. They do, in fact, already know their baby intimately. So always remember that there is no good time to lose a child, whether it happens in utero or not.
If you have a friend or family member who is struggling after a miscarriage, or if you’ve experienced one yourself, I am here to provide confidential, non-judgemental miscarriage and bereavement counselling in Beaconsfield and online. Get in touch to arrange an initial consultation at a time that suits you.