Around 10-20 percent of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, and 1 in 4 women will experience an abortion before the age of 45. Reproductive loss affects many women and couples, and understanding how to support someone who is experiencing a pregnancy loss can be challenging.
A miscarriage is a pregnancy loss before the 20th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage typically occurs when the fetus is not developing properly, though there can be other causes. Experiencing a pregnancy loss can be devastating. Planning for the baby’s arrival, telling friends and family, and the excitement of the pregnancy can be quickly taken away by miscarriage.
Supporting a loved one through miscarriage can be a roller coaster of emotions. They need your support but might also want to be left alone to process the loss. Here are a few ways you can support someone experiencing a miscarriage because now more than ever, they need you.
Supporting Your Loved One After Pregnancy Loss
1.) Give them time to process. They might not want to talk about it right away. Give them space and let them know you are here for them when they are ready to talk. Offer to cook meals, help out around the house, or simply be there to listen.
2.) Validate their feelings. The loss of a pregnancy is an emotional time, and validating their feelings and the experience they are going through is essential to support your loved one. Make sure they know that it’s ok to take their time to process their pain and heal.
3.) Let them decide when to tell their friends and family. It is hard to announce your pain and loss publicly, don’t rush the process, and keep an open dialogue about how they want to share the news. They may ask you to do it, or they may choose to do it themselves.
No matter their healing process, your role is to be supportive, let them have the time they need, and be there to listen. Of course, you want to help them heal and help them, but just understand that the timeline to healing is not linear. Don’t rush the process and allow them just to feel what they are feeling.