After writing about miscarriages and the most important thing you can say to a woman who recently suffered one, I thought it would be a good follow-up to mention what you SHOULDN’T say.
People never mean to be rude – most of the time, anyway. A lot of people are just kind of clueless and miscarriages are one of those things that happen that leaves people hemming and hawing and stumbling over their words and before you know it, something idiotic has popped out.
So prepare yourself. Chances are, someone you know, someone you love is going to experience the awful ordeal of a miscarriage. Now that you know what to say, you should also know there are several things you should never do or say.
The last thing a person should do when they find out a woman lost her baby is:
Imply there is something wrong with her or her body – this is sending the message that it’s her fault
Try to crack jokes about what she just went through
Tell her that she can just have more babies (she probably already knows she can try again, but it doesn’t make her feel any better, especially because she just lost the baby she was hoping and dreaming and planning for).
Try to assign blame to anyone or anything. Sometimes things just happen and telling her it “could be this” or “could be that” or was “probably this” will only get her mind reeling at all of the possibilities and probabilities and preventative measures she could have taken to save her baby from this loss.
Imply that her loss isn’t that bad or compare her situation to someone else’s loss. This will do NO good and will not comfort her in any way.
Refer to the baby as an embryo, fetus, or tissue (as the doctors kept calling mine). To the mom, she had a baby inside her, don’t be afraid to say baby. This will also help validate her need to mourn for somebody real.
Remember, let her mourn. And listen if she wants to talk. She just lost her child and it doesn’t make a bit of difference to her that it hadn’t been born yet. It’s her baby. She is devastated. She will never get to hold or meet the baby of her dreams and chances are, she’s probably partially blaming herself. But don’t be so frightened of saying the wrong thing that you say nothing. If all words fail, remember you can never go wrong with I’m So Sorry For Your Loss.
Thanks to Real Life In SC for the brilliant insight.