It’s been a number of years since I’ve walked through a miscarriage, but having found myself in this spot again, I thought it would be helpful to provide an updated resource on helping support a friend following a miscarriage. First, let me say that I’ve been SO floored and comforted by the messages, texts and comments I’ve gotten from many of you as we shared about the loss of our baby on Instagram. While I had hoped May would be the month we announced that we would be welcoming a baby in early December, instead I find myself writing this post.
Over the years I’ve gotten many questions from readers and followers asking how they can support their friend through a pregnancy loss. I’m hopeful this will be a starting spot for you – remembering that everyone is different and I can only speak from my personal experience.
- Just Say Something
I’m guessing if you haven’t experienced a pregnancy loss, you may find yourself at a loss for words on what to say. I’m here to give you permission to just say something – even if you’re worried it may come across wrong. A simple text, email or call means so much. I found it particularly comforting every time someone simply said, “It shouldn’t be this way. I’m so sorry this is harder than it should be. I’m sorry you’re hurting, and I’m hurting with you.” A simple listening ear or text just asking “How are you hanging in there?” means so much, opening up the door for a friend to honestly share what’s on their heart.
While I don’t want to give a long list of things to NOT say, if you’re worried about saying the wrong thing, it’s probably best to avoid overly positive statements such as, “I know it’s going to work out for you!” or “I’m sure you’ll have a baby soon.” Because one thing we know about pregnancy loss/miscarriage/infertility is that we don’t know, and quickly offering a positive affirmation that can’t be guaranteed can cause more hurt than help.
- Take Out + Meal Gift Card
Especially if it’s a friend who has other kids to care for and feed, offering to pick up and drop off take-out or dropping off a meal gift card is SO welcome. Especially post actual pregnancy loss – whether your friend naturally miscarried or had surgery – not having to worry about cooking is so thoughtful.
- Flowers + Plants + Tea + Chocolate + Etc.
This really isn’t about the gift, per se, but more so about just showing you care. The friends who sent something with a kind note, or showed up at the door to offer a hug and pray with + cry with me meant the world. It says, “Your baby mattered and your pain is valid.” which is what I think every miscarriage momma wants to hear.
- Offer to Care for Other Kiddos
Thankfully Joe was able to take time off to make sure I could rest and recovery post surgery, but I had a number of friends offer to take the kids, pick them up from school, etc. Especially if your friend has kids but doesn’t have a lot of local family support, offering to take her kids for a couple hours while she recovers would likely be a welcome reprieve.
- More Personal Gifts
This is likely reserved for individual circumstances and only if you know your friend’s preferences well, but some may want something tangible to remember their baby by. I know friends who have gotten a piece of jewelry or other item to remember their baby’s birth date or due date, tc. Personally, after having lost four babies, I feel exhausted by the reminder of each baby lost and having a physical reminder of each baby lost at this point feels more emotionally draining than anything, but I think it depends on each person and perhaps also the number of miscarriages they have had.
I hope this serves as a helpful starting point. The key takeaway being – WORDS matter more than anything. It’s not so much the gift or action as much as the validation that this baby’s life mattered and you see the pain your friend is feeling and are there with them in their pain and loss.
Here’s to loving our friends well through trials of many kinds.