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The How-To Lounge: Helping a Friend Cope With a Miscarriage

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life, but unfortunately, pregnancy is not always a happy time for everyone. The risk of miscarriage is always a possibility. If you've never had to support a friend who has suffered from one, here are some tips to keep in mind.

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  • As a friend, there is nothing you can do to take away the pain your friend and her husband are enduring. The best thing you can do is simply let her know you're there for her. Sometimes knowing you have a shoulder to cry on is all it takes.
  • Since miscarriages are so unfortunate, disappointing, and personal between couples, give your friend some space. Once you've expressed your sorrow either via phone or sympathy card, let her come to you when she is ready to talk, ask for help, or ready to see her friends and family.
  • While it's always a nice gesture to send flowers, sometimes they can just make people more upset. Opt for sending a food basket or even have some groceries delivered to her house instead.

Fortunately, I have never been in this situation so if any of you have other suggestions you would like to share, please do so in the comments below.


Join The Conversation
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Wow, the kindness and thoughtfulness of you posters is really touching. You all have such good hearts!
laluna laluna 9 years
I have a friend who has had both a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy. She had 4 young children at the time of each and when she went to hospital both times i stayed at her house for nearly two weeks and looked after her kids cleaned her house from top to bottom (with 4 kids under 5 it needed a good going over) and made sure the fridge was stocked and the laundry up to date. I didnt really say anything when she came home cause i wasnt sure what to say. Just asked how she was doing, gave her the presents the kids had made for her and played with her and the kids. She always says how much she appreciated me being there for her and the kids but i do feel guilty for not really acknowleding the baby she lost. Hopefully my actions spoke louder than words...
mazhalai mazhalai 9 years
All i could do was cry with her.
blingbling blingbling 9 years
I say to give them space, maybe offer to help with the house/dinners if the husband is working or whatever. Everyone is different - Ive had 3 and I never told anyone until after the fact (we were going through infertility and given my problems conceiving I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up, besides mine. ::) ) But that was because I didn't want people to make a fuss or feel sorry for me or whatever. I agree with the above posters that no matter WHAT, DO NOT SAY IT'S FOR THE BEST or "it's really common" or "It'll work out for you the nex time" or whatever. It doesn't always work out.
winniecooper winniecooper 9 years
The best thing friends did for me was give me flowers on my due date. No one else remembered my baby was even due. It's a sad time when that date rolls around, knowing you won't have a baby in your arms. If you've had an early loss, people will just assume you're over it already. But when that date comes around, it's terrible. Please don't forget this!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I have been through a miscarriage with two friends and i was pregnant at the same time both times! It was horrible. I knew they were happy for me, but it was just really hard for me to be around them without feeling a little guilty. To make it worse my one friend actually delivered her baby and he died the next day. I think it always depends on the person and their situation as to how they will react to something that can be very traumatizing for some women. Just be supportive and be there as a shoulder to cry on and reassuring words.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
Miscarriages are common in my family. My sister had 2 and I have had 3 (we both have two beautiful healthy kids). Alot of people don't understand the mouring because the baby wasn't "real" yet and this is an awful mentality to have. I just ask that women have more understanding if their happy pregnancy news saddens another woman. Don't ask why she isn't happy, her heart may be breaking as it always seems that others get pregnant so easily. My sister in law yelled at my husband when I cried at hearing her good news. Its not that we aren't happy, we are just mouring out losses and troubles.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
As one who had a miscarriage this past August, I agree with Greggie's advice on not saying things like "this was meant to be" or "maybe it's better this way." I'm still grieving my loss, and it's been tough, but the most encouraging way's I've been supported is just a "I'm here for you." A ton of our friends pulled together and planned dinners for us so I didn't have to cook. It was such a sweet gesture.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
That is very good advice Dear. You have to let people deal with it in their own way. Everyone is going to react differently, just let her know you are available if she ever needs to talk. Don't push. I'd like to add, ask her if there is anything she would like you to do. I have a friend that has gone through this a few times and has been bedridden for a few days both times. I went over and did her dishes, did a few small errands for her, fed the cat and changed the litterbox etc. It seems so small but She was so grateful.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Great advice guys, a co-worker of mine - his wife just has a miscarriage so this is great advice. She was 5month and just found out the sex of the baby. No matter how far along the woman may be, miscarriages has to be one of the hardest things to go through. I;ll pass this information along.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I know i agree Greggie
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Good advice...I'm sure we'll all be affected by this in one way or another.....
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"You can always have another" is such an awful response. People wouldn't say that if someone lost a 4-year-old, why do they think it's ok to say about an unborn child?
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
One of my good friend had one and it took her about 6 months to get back to her old self. It is really hard and i agree with Greggie you shouldn't say that to people. or " you can always have another one" that's just mean. She is finally trying again two years later and is having a hard time getting pregnant. I hope she can get pregnant again and that the baby is healthy.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Absolutely bfly1133. Also, don't assume if it's an early miscarriage that the mourning period will be different. I didn't even know I was pregnant when I miscarried both times (I won't go into details on how I realized it as it was happening, but we'll just say it was pretty clear). A lot of people assume that if I didn't know ahead of time, I couldn't possibly be mourning.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Greggie is so right! Don't forget that some women can overcome this situation at a quicker face, so don't assume how long the process should go. Miscarriages are extremely common in my family and my cousin was prepared to potentially have one of her own. She did have a miscarriage after her second child. She was sad of course, but she came to terms with it rather fast. Many people told my cousin she was a bad person because she didn't mourn longer. Apparently she had friends that were told the same thing. Please don't be one of those people.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
i feel i should add that she now has a 1 yo. : )
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
oh boy..... i sent a card and stoped by a bunch. it was so bad. she had been trying for 2 years.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Whatever you do, avoid the phrases "some things are meant to be" and "maybe it's better this way." I completely agree with the advice to let her take the lead on when or if she wants to talk about it, needs anything, etc.
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