It can be really difficult to know what to say or do when a family member or friend goes through a pregnancy loss. After going through 3 miscarriages and 1 ectopic pregnancy and experiencing people not knowing what to say to us. I also know what we need during a loss now to make it easier for us. So I hope this helps you know how to support anyone going through this nightmare.
Letting Them Know You Acknowledge Their Loss.
During and after a loss you can feel so isolated and completely alone in their grief. It can be a very confusing time for lost parents and griefing a loss can be very confusing. It’s hard to know what you’re meant to be feeling both physically and mentally. However, it really helps us parents navigate their grief journey when everyone around them acknowledges their baby and the loss of that child. Even though our baby is no longer with us they were still our child and breaks our heart when people act as though they didn’t exist, brushing our loss off or just ignoring our loss in general. I can only imagine how hard it is to talk to us lost parents but it really does help us in our griefing.
“How Are You?” – The Important Question.
It seems like such a silly, little question but it means the world to us. By asking how we are, just show us that you acknowledge our loss and what we are going through/gone through. It can help us feel less alone and our loss and baby are validated.
If You Can’t Talk Send A Care Package.
I know it can be hard to know what to say and even knowing when you contact a griefing parent. Sending a care package, sending a bunch of flowers or a condolence card just lets us know your thinking of us. This also helps us feel acknowledges again, I keep talking about feeling acknowledged but pregnancy loss is such a taboo subject you honestly feel so alone and like you can’t talk about or publically grief and our child.
Groceries and Homemade Meals Are The Best.
I know this isn’t something that is thought about very often at all and I didn’t think about it with our first couple of losses. However, after having my parents here after our last pregnancy loss both myself and Daddy bear have said how helpful it was having to not worry about dinner. Thinking back to our other losses it would have been so helpful especially with Baby bear. Mealtime was something that we didn’t think about like we normally would so I would defiantly recommend if you can make dinner and drop it round to your family member or friend so they can just warm it up when they are ready. Doing this also means they don’t have to stress about having to go out to the shop to get something for dinner. Simply look after them as you would if they were sick or recovering from anything else.
Having someone just listening is what a lost parent needs more than encouraging words. Just someone really listening and taking the time to let you talk through everything going through your mind is the best thing someone can do.
Think Before You Speak.
I know it is completely natural to try and make your family member or friend feel better about the situation. This can include trying to be positive about them having a healthy baby in the future. As encouraging as this is they aren’t what a lost parent wants to hear when we are grieving the loss of our baby. My biggest piece of advice is to think before you speak, try and put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to hear it?
My No No list of things to say are:
- “You’re still young” – My age doesn’t affect my love for our baby or make it any easier.
- “At least you know you can get pregnant” – That hurts the most to know I can fall pregnant but my body fails us and we have to say goodbye to my baby way too early.
- “You weren’t that far gone so it wasn’t a fully formed Baby yet” – A baby is a baby in my eyes as soon as they are conceived and I love them as soon as I see them 2 pink lines.
- “At least you have Baby bear” – yes I have a happy healthy little boy but it doesn’t stop me wanting another baby.
It Affects Dads To.
It is so easy to forget about the dad when supporting a family member or friend through a pregnancy loss. Yes, the woman is who experiences the physical loss but both parents experience the mental side of the loss. The dad isn’t only navigating his own grief but he is also supporting the mum. Both parents love the baby, plan a future including that child and they both grieve the loss of the baby in a pregnancy loss. I know from our experiences and talking to other lost mummas, the dads seem to immerse themselves in daily chores and distractions. They also seem to not speak about their emotions easily and it can take them a while to open up about how they are feeling. I just want to remind you to check on the father as well as the mumma they lost a baby too.
I hope this is helpful to you in knowing how to support someone in your life who is experiencing a pregnancy loss.