What to say to women going through miscarriage?

Women facing baby loss (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pregnancy loss is devastatingly common. You may not think you know anyone who has had a miscarriage, but trust me, you do. An estimated one in four women will experience miscarriage.

However, many doctors says the true number, in their clinical experience, is much higher. According to physicians, 50% of women at their first ultrasound did not have a viable pregnancy. Yes, 50%! Not all pregnancies end with birth and babies. However, they still matter.

DO NOT say: “Have you thought about ...”
I cannot emphasize the importance of eliminating this phrase from your vocabulary. Do you know what she’s thinking about? Her loss. The grief sits, a fog on the heart. She has spoken to medical professionals. She has combed the online message boards. She has probably blamed herself. Still, “Have you thought about” questions abound.
They’re such a plague that I’ve broken them down into the three most persistent culprits.
“Have you thought about taking a break?”
Do you know the only thing that will likely soothe a person who has just lost a longed-for pregnancy? Getting pregnant again and having a baby.
Taking a break does not sound soothing. It sounds like yet more agonizing waiting, and this deeply unhelpful suggestion often just compounds the frustration. Plus, if “taking a break” is indeed the right thing for her, you’d better believe that yes, she has already thought about it.
“Have you thought about acupuncture/giving up dairy/purchasing a very specific and expensive crystal from an ancient mountain range?”
Yes, she has thought about it. She might have tried some of it already. It hasn’t worked yet though, has it? Keep your crystals to yourself, please.
“Have you thought about adoption or IVF (in vitro fertilization)?”
Both of these are immensely personal decisions that, in most cases, require huge amounts of money, time and, in some cases, a very specific medical prognosis. If either choice is the right option for someone, she’ll walk either of these excellent paths to a baby. These questions, when directed at someone who is just trying to get through the day with her grief, are overwhelming and anxiety-provoking.