Twin Cities Mom Collective

How to Help Someone Going Through Pregnancy Loss

How to Help Someone Going Through Pregnancy Loss | Twin Cities Mom Collective

As a birth doula, I have undoubtedly experienced pregnancy loss with clients and friends. You have likely experienced it yourself or are close to someone who will or who has experienced a pregnancy loss. It can be difficult navigating what to do or say in these moments.

I have a friend who recently suffered a very early miscarriage, which can sometimes be called a “chemical pregnancy.” However, these words, this definition, don’t help take the pain away. Another friend of mine experienced the loss of triplets due to an infection, but knowing the cause didn’t take the pain away. A third dear friend lost her baby due to insurmountable heart defects, but the pain she and her husband feels is still there.

These families, like so many families, all have the memory of their babies and loss on their hearts. Some have other kids, some have gone on to experience more loss, and all of them are continuing to take their grief one day at a time. A loss is a loss, and everyone is allowed to experience their emotions as they come and go after going through this experience, no matter how much time has passed.

Let’s get into it, how can you help the people closest to you going through this experience?

What to say to someone experiencing pregnancy loss

Let’s start with what you should definitely NOT say to someone going through a loss:

  1. It just wasn’t the right time/It wasn’t meant to be/It was for the best.
  2. At least it happened early.
  3. Do you know why?
  4. Well, at least you have other children/You are still young, there is plenty of time to have a baby.
  5. When will you have another baby?

{insert face-palm emoji here} Right? We’ve all said something like that before, even when our hope was to provide comfort.

But after learning these are insensitive phrases, what are some things we CAN say to someone grieving a loss?

  1. I’m sorry/I’m sorry you lost your baby/I’m sorry you lost {insert baby name}.
  2. This must be really difficult for you.
  3. I am here for you if you ever want to talk about it.
  4. I don’t know what to say.

What can you physically do for someone experiencing pregnancy loss 

Our words may be lost, so what can we do with our actions to help our friends or family going through a pregnancy loss?

Meal train: Setting this up for a family will be a relief to them, allowing them to cope and grieve without having to worry about meal times and grocery store runs.

Supporting the living children: If the family has other children, consider creating a few busy activity boxes for the kids to help the parents out. Consider checking out something like Busy Toddler to create some fun activity bins for the kids. Buying books for kids to understand loss and grief would be a great tool to help children figure out and understand (at their level) what is happening. In fact, here is a list of books that can be helpful for kiddos experiencing loss. 

Send a thoughtful gift: Flowers, cards, books, a necklace with an ultrasound picture, or a bear to commemorate their lost baby can go a long way. A great book is Bearing the Unbearable: Love Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Joanne Cacciatore and Jeffrey Rubin.

Reach out: Please continue to follow up with the family and check-in. This may be a simple text or dropping off a coffee, but don’t fall off the face of the earth after one text. The impact of pregnancy loss can last a lifetime, so when the anniversary is coming up, reach out to the family and offer support, love, and maybe even send a card to let them know you are thinking of them and their family.

What resources can you provide to someone experiencing pregnancy loss

  • Pregnancy & Postpartum Support MN is a great starting point for families experiencing a loss. There are a variety of support groups in the different Twin Cities Metro areas, but there are also ways for families to find providers in their area that specialize in pregnancy loss.
  • Still Birth Day:A Pregnancy Loss is Still a Birthday is another great resource to offer to families. If you find out a family is expecting a stillbirth, this website offers resources for them in birthing their baby and into the postpartum grief period. Still Birth Day shares the stories of families which creates community and support for families experiencing loss.
  • Social media can be a great way to connect with other people who have experienced something you have. One Instagram account I highly recommend is @ihadamiscarriage.

Moral of the story? The best thing you can do for someone experiencing pregnancy loss is to let them know you are there for them. Acknowledge their loss no matter where they were at in their pregnancy journey, don’t try to solve their problems or cure their grief. Be there, be consistent, wrap them in love and community.

We would be honored to help you remember your babies and mark their name on our Forever Loved Wall. You can do so by clicking HERE.

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