Statistics say that one in five women have suffered a miscarriage. While it is a natural human tendency to want to help, oftentimes well-meaning words of comfort do little to soothe the sudden and intense heartbreak of a lost pregnancy. Telling a woman that it was “for the best” or suggesting she “try again” trivializes the loss and all the hopes, dreams, and potential lost with it.
Women react differently to miscarriages. Some, especially those who had not yet announced the pregnancy, opt to keep the news private. Others who have already announced the pregnancy are forced to share the devastating news, seemingly retracting the happiness they had so willingly shared. It’s a painful admission to make, even after time has passed, and great care should be taken to respect her feelings.
What is the appropriate reaction? A heartfelt “I’m sorry” and a sincere offer to be there if needed goes a long way. Some feel compelled to send a card, but stick to a “thinking of you” card over a sympathy card in this instance. While she may not feel up to visitors, sending text messages, e-mails, flowers, delivered meals, or phone calls can also help show support during the difficult time. After a little bit of time has passed, offers to take her out to eat, to the movies, or other such places that may help her regain a semblance of normalcy. Above all, being available is the most loving response there is.
Finally, don’t forget the partner’s feelings. He or she is usually the one expected to provide the comfort and care, but may need some reassurances as well. Her partner, too, is experiencing a loss of their own, and care should be taken to make sure their own need to mourn and grieve isn’t forgotten.