How To Talk To A Friend Who’s Had A Miscarriage

November 16, 2016

How To Talk To A Friend Whose Had A Miscarriage

Today’s post is one that will likely touch many of you. The chances that you or someone you know and love has had a miscarriage is all too likely, according to the American Pregnancy Association 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. So many women avoid talking about the subject, it almost seems tabu.  I’ve had conversations with several women over the years about how isolating and lonely it can feel if you’ve suffered the loss of miscarriage. Not only are you grieving an incredible loss but you may feel like you have no one to talk to about it.  I’m hoping to try and change the conversation by having this site be an open place to share about issues that are hard and often not easy to talk about — and connect you with resources to find help if you find yourself in this position. 

Today my incredible friend, Julia who recently opened up about her own miscarriages is sharing a few tips about how you can talk to someone who has experienced the loss of a miscarriage. 

You bravely shared the stories of your miscarriages publicly and by publicly I mean with your 115k + followers – was that a hard choice to make? 

100%. My husband and I talked about it a lot, and at first it made him understandably uncomfortable to share our very personal story. I decided to write it as a therapeutic outlet with no intention of posting it. It honestly just poured out of me. I wrote it with one sitting and made no edits at all. The words had to come out! That day, I sent it to him to see what he thought.

I honestly never thought he would want me to post about my miscarriages but I felt so much better after writing it, I was ok with that. I’ll never forget the day he came home from work after reading it and said, “You have to post that. Think about how many women you’ll help.”

Ultimately what pushed you to put it all “out there” ? 

I was feeling incredibly depressed at the time, and thought that writing about my experiences would help me move past them. It did! I also kept thinking about how I wished that I had been able to read something like that when I was going through it all. I figured if I could help one woman or couple get through a tough time, then it was worth it.

What have you gained from the experience? 

Since then, I have received over 200 emails from readers, sharing their stories and thanking me for sharing mine. I feel a deep connection to each of these women, and feel as if my blog has done something meaningful for this group of people. It makes me feel better about what I do which can sometimes be vapid.

Do you have any tips on talking to a friend or loved one who has suffered a loss like this?

Be gentle and try not to offer advice on how to get over it. She will need to grieve. It’s an important part of the healing process. If you haven’t gone through it, it seems like bouncing back would be easy, but I promise you it’s not!
But ask her questions and tell her that you’re there if she wants to talk at anytime. You can ask about her relationship with her husband, what she is feeling at the moment, and what you can do to help.

What are a few things you can do for a friend whose suffered a miscarriage?

If you have a friend or family member who has experienced miscarriage, here are three things you can do to help:

  1. Check in on her every few days for at least a month. Send a sweet quote and just let her know that you’re thinking about her.
  2. When you speak with her, ask her how she is feeling and let her talk about it for as long as she needs to.
  3. I love these thoughtful miscarriage cards. I would have loved to have received one… especially this one.

 

Is there anything you should avoid talking about with a friend whose had miscarriage(s)?

If you have your own baby, try not to go on and on about how great they are OR how hard it is.  Although your friend probably loves you and your kid, now isn’t the time to share your stories.

Also, don’t ask when she is going to start “trying” again. Sometimes the thought of that is too much to handle.

For more resources on miscarriage:
Here are 3 stories of other women who have had miscarriages. 

And 10 more women share their stories here.

Dr. Jess Zucker started the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage and is a pioneer in opening up the conversation, she has a website here and you can follow her on Instagram here. You may also like to read this article Jess wrote in the NY Times here.

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