How to Deal With Having a Miscarriage
That’s why, if you’re going through a miscarriage, it’s so important to lean on people you trust — loved ones who will empathize with you in your loss. Avoid people who invalidate your experience: Markin says it’s common for well-meaning individuals to make cliched comments that may invalidate their pain, like “this happens all the time” or “you’ll get pregnant again,” which she says can be a bit like rubbing salt on a wound. “It’s important for people to find at least one person they feel understood by and supported by,” she says.
You may also need to educate others on what you need, which could be as simple as saying, ‘I know you want to help me focus on getting pregnant again, but what I really need is someone to just listen.’ However, she acknowledges that may be easier said than done. “That can be hard when you’re in pain, but it’s important to advocate for yourself,” Markin says.
Jaffe recommends seeking professional support from a therapist or joining a support group focused on pregnancy loss, If possible. Your OB-GYN can help you find a mental health professional if you’re struggling. “They may not have the time to provide mental health care, but they can help connect you to someone like a therapist or psychiatrist,” Richards says.
Need help sooner? Organizations like Postpartum Support International and Maternal Mental Health Now also provide online resources for people going through pregnancy loss.
How can you support a person experiencing a miscarriage?
People going through miscarriages often feel isolated and, according to Richards, social support is an important ingredient for healing. When someone you know is going through a pregnancy loss, do whatever you can to validate their experience.
Start by recognizing and accepting the pain that comes with miscarriage. “We tend to view miscarriage through a medical and not emotional or psychological lens,” Markin says. “Parents in that position are grieving the loss of the baby but also the loss of hopes for the future.”
There’s no perfect way to support a grieving parent, but Richards says it’s important to reassure them it’s not their fault, there’s nothing they could have done to change the circumstances, and that they’re not alone on the journey.
Not sure how else to offer tangible support? Markin suggests directly asking the person what they need, and don’t try to take away their pain. Instead, focus on being a supportive, understanding presence for the long haul. Jaffe also suggests making note of the miscarriage anniversary and checking in with your loved one. Everyone grieves at their own pace, and there’s no right or wrong way for a person to express their pain.
“It’s not like people can’t grow from the experience or that they will feel it for the rest of their lives,” Jaffe says. “But there will be moments where the grief comes back, and you feel it, like any loss.”
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