Monday, May 13, 2013

What Not to say to a Miscarriage Survivor

I wrote this post because I feel miscarriage isn't talked about enough in our society, which makes people unsure of what to say when it does happen. This is by no means an all inclusive list, but just a sampling of things that were personally said to me. Hopefully, this will help whoever reads this post to be more sensitive if they ever have a friend/family member experience loss.

Disclaimer: If my friends/family feel they might have said one of these things to me, please don't feel guilty. I know nobody said anything to be malicious and purposely hurt my feelings during this difficult time.

What NOT to say to a Miscarriage Survivor

At least you weren’t very far along. It doesn’t matter how far long I was, it was still a loss. This makes the grieving mother feel as if you are diminishing her grief. Many mothers have already built a connection with their baby even if they are still in the first trimester.

You’ll get pregnant again/ You can try again. I know that. But I wanted THIS baby. Telling a grieving mother this is of no help. The goal is not just getting pregnant, it’s actually having a baby. 

Did you hear So and So is pregnant?! Of course I heard. I have access to facebook too. Please remember to be sensitive around those who have lost. This does not mean you can’t talk about anything baby related, it just means to do so with tact. 

When are you trying again? If I wanted to share this with you I’d bring it up. Please don’t ask nosy questions. Most women will only share with you what they feel comfortable with. Please do not put grieving women on the spot to answer your questions, especially if you have never experienced the loss of a child yourself.

You’re young. It will happen for you. No sh** Sherlock. I know I’m young and can get pregnant again. This does not change the fact that I’m still grieving and you can't just replace one baby with another.

It won’t happen again. You can’t promise this to somebody who suffers a miscarriage. Although it’s uncommon, it is a real possibility. If it is to happen again the woman will feel like she’s failed in some way and she will most likely remember you have said this to her. Please prevent yourself from putting your foot in your mouth.

At least you weren’t as far along as So and So when she miscarried. Please don’t make me feel as my grief should be less than somebody else’s. Yes, somebody in their 2nd or 3rd trimester was able to build that bond with their baby longer, but that does not mean I should feel any less sad.

God must have wanted that baby more than you did. Yes folks, these exact words were said to me. I know what the person meant. But, wrong delivery. NOBODY wanted this baby more than me. Period.

Time heals all wounds. ‎"It has been said time heals all wounds… I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting it’s sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it’s never gone.” -Rose Kennedy

While I hope that nobody you know ever has to go through the pain of a miscarriage, I know that realistically, 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in her life. Hopefully, this post will help you to be more sensitive if a friend/family member of yours does experience a loss. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post What To Say to a Miscarriage Survivor.

Please remember, these are my personal reflections and every woman grieves differently.  



  1. One more: "It's God's will". Not helpful. Best thing to say? "I'm sorry."

  2. I just found out today about my miscarriage....Another thing people have told me is,"Just have faith. You can always try again." I have my problems with 'god' at the moment. I always have...So please, don't bring that up...

  3. I had 3 miscarriages. My husband had to go in to work for 2 other guys while I was miscarrying and I was home alone with our 2 young children. I have only told people about our very first miscarriage bc I didn't want to burden people with my grief.

  4. Was having my third miscarriage when my older sister who is 39 told me she was pregnant. She said if I would of known I wouldn't of told you. Then she said to me "If you want me to I can carry a baby for you." No exactly what I wanted to hear right then.

  5. for me I get tire of "I'm sorry for your loss" after like th 100th time it becomes draining. I understand people don't know what to say in such situations, that is why I like facebook this way I can skim the words and not have to hear it, so many times and still know that people show that they care.

  6. My 4th miscarriage, my sister kept bringing up adoption. Adoption is great but, I wanted to be sad and think about my babies.

  7. Don't forget, it's his loss too. I had two miscarriages and was so devastated that I forgot about my husband. He is also feeling pain.

  8. I second everything you have said. So many people brush it off, and say it shouldn't bother you in different ways. I speak as one having had 4 miscarriages & 1 still birth (7 months). I also have 8 living children. When I had my last miscarriage at 47, at last nobody said the trite, "You can always have another one."

  9. I am so glad that you decided to speak up. When I had my miscarriage (only time I was pregnant) last month, I had no idea that this is such a common thing. I was wondering why no one speaks about it. It doesn't hurt less, but still the feeling that "I am not alone" is a big help.
    And yes, people can be terribly insensitive. They probably mean well, but 3 women asked me "what did you do? did you do something you shouldn't that caused it?" One other said, "you didn't look pregnant at all". I don't know what is that supposed to mean.
    I think none of us would ever be able to get over it, we will just learn to live with it. Coming Mothers' Day will give me a lot of heartache, I know that. Also because it was right after Mothers' Day this year when I found out that I was pregnant. Sad stuff..

  10. I've had 3 miscarriages, the 3rd is still going on and has been since Thursday. My first pregnancy was actually because of failed birth control (though Baby was much wanted and loved), but I'll never forget that night my mother came through the door, I told her I miscarried, and she asked if I had told my SO yet (I hadn't) and she said: "ah, letting him suffer a little longer"... Yes, Baby was unplanned, but hearing mum making her appear as a burden or as some kind of curse really upset me; it's really stuck with me since.

  11. I am so glad I am not alone! I am just going through this with my first pregnancy and only 2 months into marriage. I know my family (3 hours away) are completely supportive. My husband's parents (5 minutes away) are telling people who did not know I was pregnant! I do not know how to act to my in laws or my students, since I am a middle school teacher, to be my 100% self.

  12. The nicest thing that someone said to me was, "I don't know what to say to you except that I feel very sad that this has happened to you." The worst thing that someone said to me was from my substitute teacher who replaced me while I was absent. She told my class that, "This must have happened because her baby was an inter-racial baby." I had to 'unteach' my class when I returned to work as I recovered from my grief! Another woman, who was a miscarriage survivor herself, told me, "That's why you shouldn't tell people you're pregnant until after three months." To that I say, "BS." If you're excited about being pregnant, show it. I know I was overjoyed about mine even though we shared only four months. My miscarriage happened over 30 years ago and I still think of my baby. I can talk about it without crying now but the feelings I experienced back then are just below the surface and have made me more compassionate to others experiencing similar losses. The experience taught me so much!

  13. something that really saddens me is when people say "at least you can eat sushi/drink/do this or that again" i'd give up those things for my entire life if it meant not losing our child.

  14. Thank you so much for this. I hate feeling like I have to suffer in private and pretend I'm fine in public. It's comforting to know that at least I'm not suffering alone.

  15. Two weeks ago we found out that we were expecting our first baby. Two days ago at 6 weeks I ended up in the ER and found out today that it is indeed a miscarriage. My husband and I are devastated. Our baby had a heartbeat and I am being treated by friends as if it isn't that big of a deal. I pray they will never understand. Thank you for this.