by Amy Morrison of Pregnant Chicken
Miscarriage – 8 Things You Should Never Say
Around 1 in 4 known pregnancies end in miscarriage which means it’s still a pretty common occurrence.
When you think about it, every single baby that is born is a miracle. A mother frickin’ miracle. When you think of how many things fall into place to make that little person, it truly is an incredible thing. And when the pieces don’t fall into place it can be a devastating experience for the people looking forward to that little person being a part of their lives.
Whenever I hear that someone has miscarried the first thing I think is “I’m so sorry for their loss”, the second thing I think is “I hope people don’t accidentally say stupid shit to them”. Things like:
It wasn’t meant to be. It doesn’t cut it when they are out of your shoe size and it sure as hell doesn’t cut it when you’ve lost a baby.
It was God’s plan. A few people may find comfort in this statement but most would be downright offended so never throw that one out there.
You can have more. They are mourning THAT baby not any baby. I’m sad when they forget my side of fries so you can imagine what it’s like when someone finds out they aren’t going to have a whole person in their lives anymore.
It was probably from all your _______ (stress, jumping, eating, breathing, etc). Even if she was shooting heroin in the Ultimate Fighter Championship cage how on earth does someone think it would be any comfort to anyone to blame her for her loss? It is crappy so just button it.
There was probably something wrong with it. Not only are you insinuating that they conceived a less than perfect child, you are also saying that it isn’t worth mourning.
Maybe you’re not meant to have kids. Right because because fertility is such an excellent indicator of parenting ability. Way to piss in someone’s ear when they’re lying in the ditch. Be sure to tell them they look fat in those pants too.
At least you have your other children. So if someone has three children, they’d be willing to ditch one or two? Or how about, “Don’t worry that your arm and ear is missing because you have extra ones.”? Nope, not a good thing to say.
This isn’t bad, so-and-so had three miscarriages. Sure, someone, somewhere always has it worse but that doesn’t make the person feel better it just makes them feel like they aren’t entitled to feeling bad. They are.
You need to ________ (get on with your life, concentrate on the children you already have, whittle wooden whistles, etc). It’s one thing to suggest things that might get the loss off their mind but it’s another thing to tell them how to mourn. Some people hold it all in. Some people bawl and want to talk about it. Some people want to crawl in bed and feel like crap. None of them are wrong.
At least you weren’t that far along. If I won the lottery, I would have it mentally spent in about 20 minutes. These couples have had weeks, if not months, to think about a baby that isn’t going to happen now. Saying something like that is just undermining their loss.
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When it all comes down to it, I know that people say these things because they are trying to make the person feel better and they don’t mean to be hurtful. On the flip side, people who avoid someone who has miscarried because they’re afraid to step in it, isn’t being helpful either.
I truly think one of the best things anyone can do when they find out someone has lost a baby is to listen. You can hear how they are grieving and see if there is anyway to help them, then help.
Some of the things that I think would be better to say and do:
- I’m so sorry for your loss.
- I had a miscarriage too. Let me know if you ever want to talk about it.
- I don’t know what to say but I’m here for you and I want to help.
- Do you want to talk about it?
- Offer to help with housework, babysitting, meals, etc.
- Call and check in because the pain doesn’t go away in a couple days.
If all else fails, stick it in a card if you’re too worried you’re going panic and put your foot in your mouth. The whole point to let the person know that they are being thought of and that they aren’t alone.
As for all you pregnant ladies, I can’t tell you not to worry because you probably will anyway but I can tell you that in researching this site, I’m finding there isn’t a heck of a lot you can do to change the outcome of a pregnancy — most of the no-nos just “turn the screws” a little one way or the other. Sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t and it sucks when they don’t.
There is nothing we can do to guarantee we all get a healthy baby so that is all the more reason to rejoice when we do get one of those screaming, pooing, hungry little miracles.
More about our Booty Blogger:
Amy Morrison started Pregnant Chicken in early 2010 when, after both her pregnancies, she became frustrated by all the scare tactics
bombarding pregnant women and decided that there needed to be a
website that shed a little perspective on all the cautionary tales. In
her former life, she was the head of a creative department at an
advertising agency but now freelances as a graphic designer so she can be at home with her kids who are the are the light of of her life, the apples of her eye and the pains in her ass. Amy lives in Toronto with her two little boys, her husband and a couple of geriatric cats.