So, what do you say to a woman who has just lost a baby?
Dealing with a miscarriage is likely to be one of the toughest experiences that anyone can go through, but how much harder would it be if your well-meaning friends and family constantly said the wrong things?
Being told, ‘it wasn’t a real baby’ and ‘it’s nature’s way’, are some of the clunky and tone-deaf comments women who have suffered a miscarriage have been told by loved ones who were trying to ‘comfort’ them, according to a new survey by parenting site, ChannelMum.com.
Already emotional from the loss of a child, the last thing a woman who has just lost a child wants to hear is ‘it’s nature’s way’! Seven in ten admitted friends trivialise their heartache by saying, ‘don’t worry, you can try again soon’.
Stats show that about one in six pregnancies result in a miscarriage, a quarter of a million in the UK each year. In spite of these high figures, 76 per cent of women who have lost a baby say there is not enough support for families going through this tough time. Two thirds complained that their baby was not treated like ‘a real child’ and 65 per cent saying that they didn’t have enough time to grieve properly.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com, said:
“The majority of women suffer at least one miscarriage and many have several, so why is it still so hard to talk about openly? We talk about ‘losing a child’ but the parents will always keep the pain of that loss with them – and many need to talk about it to help heal. It’s worth remembering words are powerful so choose yours carefully. The wrong phrase, particularly one which belittles the loss or apportions blame – can be devastating. But a few well-chosen and thoughtful words can set a mum on the road to recovery.”
Here’s some guidance of what you should never say and some words of comfort to someone who’s been through a miscarriage:
WHAT YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY
1. It’s nature’s way
2. Don’t worry. You can try again soon
3. It means there was something wrong with your baby
4. It wasn’t a “proper baby”
5. Everything happens for a reason
6. It wasn’t your time
7. It’s the best thing given the situation
8. You’ll be fine!
9. Get over it
10. In my day we just treated it like a heavy period and got on with it
11. At least you know you can get pregnant
12. What did you do to make it happen?
WHAT YOU CAN SAY
1. Your baby will always be with you in your heart
2. Even though it was early it was still your baby
3. It wasn’t your fault
4. It’s s**t. It will be s**t for a long time but at some point, it won’t be quite as s**t
5. I’m here if you want to talk about it
6. I’m sorry for your loss
7. It WAS a baby and it was loved
8. Be kind to yourself
9. It’s OK to cry
10. It’s OK to be angry
11. It’s OK to be sad
12. I love you