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Take the Taboo Out Of Talking About Miscarriage

Sep 10 2013 - 1:37pm

Whether you've experienced a miscarriage of your own or had a friend struggle with losing a baby, you know what a difficult and emotional time it is. Knowing what to say and how to react with sensitivity and compassion is an incredible skill to have as a friend. We chatted with Robbie Miller Kaplan, author of How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times — Miscarriage [1] to discuss the dos and don'ts of how to react during this challenging time.

Keep in mind that a miscarriage is a death like any other, and the best thing you can do is be a source of patience and compassion for the parents who have gone through the loss. While you can't bring back what was taken from them, you can be a supportive presence on the path to healing.

Source: Thinkstock [2]

Don't: Suggest That Another Baby Will Make It Better

While many couples overcome the pain of a miscarriage and go on to have happy and healthy babies, a mom who's just experienced a loss needs time to heal. No matter how well-intentioned, comments like "You can try again" and "You can always have another" come off as callus and insensitive.

Source: Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography [3]

Don't: Try to Offer a Reason For the Miscarriage

Telling a friend that "There was probably something wrong with the baby" or "It's God's will" won't help the situation.

Source: Flickr User Ed Yourdon [4]

Don't: Tell Her She Should Be Grateful For What She Has

When someone is in mourning, don't tell her to put things into perspective, or look on the bright side. Saying, "You already have two healthy kids" or "Be grateful for the children/husband/home/career that you do have" won't help. Chances are, she already is grateful for all of the good in her life and that doesn't make the death of a baby any easier.

Source: Flickr user mikebaird [5]

Do: Just Listen

The most valuable service you can offer may actually just be to listen. Be a supportive, sensitive shoulder to cry on.

Do: Be Honest

Saying, "I don't know what to say" is more comforting than it may seem. In expressing her grief to you, your friend isn't looking for magic words or a way to end the pain — she's sharing her experience because you are an important part of her life. "I'm so sorry for your loss" is another simple expression that goes a long way.

Do: Extend Some Comfort

Be there for your friend in the same way that you'd want her to be there for you. Miscarriage is a lonely journey, as the couple going through it probably isn't sharing it with everyone they know. Offer your companionship, and let her know what a great mom she's going to make one day.

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