Pregnancy is such an exciting time in your life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes pregnancy ends in loss, like in the case of a miscarriage. Around twenty-six percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage. Pregnancy loss can hit you like a ton of bricks, but you may not realize how common it is. If it happened to your family, we are so sorry.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How Might Your Wife Act or Feel After a Miscarriage?
- Tips for Being a Supportive Partner After Your Wife Has a Miscarriage
It can be heartbreaking not just to experience miscarriage as a partner but to watch the pain that your wife is going through. If you’re thinking, “My wife had a miscarriage – what do I do?!” We’ve got your back with some tips for how to support her through this journey.
It’s important to note that non-binary folx and trans-men can also get pregnant and have miscarriages. Although this article discusses supporting your wife, you can use these tips to support your partner no matter what their gender is.
How Might Your Wife Act or Feel After a Miscarriage?
Coping with a miscarriage is no easy task. Though this fairly common occurrence often goes undiscussed and swept under the rug – it can be heartbreaking, especially if your wife has had multiple miscarriages or difficulty conceiving.
Not only is she healing emotionally, but she’s healing physically as well. The hormone fluctuations of a pregnancy ending may bring about feelings akin to postpartum depression and anxiety. Add on the grief of miscarriage, and your wife may be in a tough spot.
She might be feeling sad, anxious, ashamed, guilty, isolated, and confused. It’s not uncommon for her to become quiet, isolate herself, or withdraw. We know how hard it is to watch your wife feel like this, especially when you may be feeling your own grief as well.
Neither of you is experiencing this alone. You have each other and hopefully an external support system. There are ways to get through this, and you can support your wife’s healing journey with these helpful tips.
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Tips for Being a Supportive Partner After Your Wife Has a Miscarriage
Miscarriage is something that no one should have to go through, but unfortunately, many people do. You might feel at a loss about how to support your wife or not want to push her over the edge when she’s in a fragile state.
While it’s important to be gentle, there are certainly steps you can take to let her know that she’s loved, held, and supported. Think about the most challenging things you’ve been through (this might be one of them). Didn’t it make a world of difference to have someone you love and trust support you through it?
You are probably number one in your wife’s support system. All you need is the right tools to give her what she needs. We’re here to help. Here are our top tips to help support your wife after a miscarriage.
1. Be communicative
It can be challenging to know how to ask for help when you’re swimming in grief. Even if your wife usually is super communicative, it might be difficult for her to talk or ask for what she needs right now. She might need a little coaxing or extra encouragement. That’s where your communication skills come in.
If your wife is withdrawn or abnormally quiet, you might have to go out of your way to ask what’s happening in her head and heart and how you can help her. A simple “How’s your heart feeling right now?” can open the conversation for her to spill everything that’s going on inside.
Not sure what to say? Here are some conversation starters and questions you can use to help guide you:
- “I’m here to give you whatever you need.”
- “Would you like some space or do you want me to stay here?”
- “I love you. I’m so sorry to see you so upset, but I’m here for you no matter what.”
- “We’re in this together, for better or worse.”
- “We can honor the memory of this baby however you’d like to.”
- “How can I support you right now?”
It’s essential to ask your wife how she’s feeling, what she needs, and also to share what’s going on with you. You might feel like you don’t want to weigh her down, but it can be incredibly healing to be vulnerable and share with her how you’re feeling after the miscarriage. This helps her understand that she’s not alone in this experience and that you can share this grief, as well as heal from it together.
2. Be able to hold space
Knowing how to communicate and what to say is one thing; creating the space for your wife to honestly share her thoughts and feelings is another. One key piece of supporting your partner through miscarriage is being able to “hold space.”
The term hold space might feel elusive, but it’s very real to the people experiencing it. When you hold space, you’re creating an energetic container of sorts for your wife to go through the motions of whatever they’re experiencing.
The magic of holding space is knowing how to offer support without trying to fix or change things. While you may be able to make a new baby, you can’t undo the miscarriage that has happened. You can’t totally fix things, but you can let your wife know through your actions that you are there to support her while she cries, screams, laughs, or whatever else comes up.
This might seem a bit esoteric, but there are practical ways to learn how to hold space. Some ways you can effectively hold space are being an active listener and not always thinking of what to say next, being open to whatever emotions come up, and reassuring your wife and her feelings. You can hold space better by checking in with yourself first and trying to stay grounded, take deep breaths, and be present.
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3. Handle the small things
Another more tangible way you can support your wife after a miscarriage is by taking care of the small (and big) things in her life. When someone is in the middle of grief, it can be challenging to do even the most mundane activities.
Think of the ways you can make your wife’s life easier without even asking her. Daily chores like washing the dishes, taking care of pets, getting groceries, cooking or ordering meals, and picking up kids from school if you have any. These little things help take some of the pressure off of your wife so that she can rest, heal, and keep from being overwhelmed.
Here are some other ways you can make her life easier:
- Make sure she has snacks and comforting beverages on hand
- Do the laundry and put it away
- Make sure her car has gas in it or take care of any maintenance needed
You probably can’t anticipate her every need, and that’s ok. That’s where your communication skills come in. Go back to step one and add in questions like “How can I make your life easier?” and “I’d love to take some things off your hands right now. What can I do?”
4. Create self-care opportunities
After you get the basic necessities taken care of, it’s also essential to create opportunities for your wife to get some extra TLC. Self-care practices may seem a bit frivolous when she’s in the middle of grief. Still, they can make a huge difference in her healing process.
Self-care is anything that helps promote someone’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It’s also one of the hardest things to bring yourself to do when you’re in the middle of grief. That’s why it’s important that you create opportunities for your wife to practice self-care, especially if she seems hesitant to do it herself.
How do you do that? Here are some ideas:
- Run a bath for her
- Give her a massage or get her a massage gift certificate
- Encourage her to do something she loves like art, time in nature, or hang out with friends
Self-care doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Even the simplest of tools can help boost her up and let her know she’s supported.
5. Give her time
You may want to rush through this period of sadness because it can be so painful to watch your wife going through this. Unfortunately, grief has its own timeline. Some days, it may feel like your wife is fine, while she might be struggling again on others.
Part of holding space is knowing that you can’t rush the process. It might take her a few weeks or a few months to feel more or less healed from the miscarriage. This process might be dragged out if you’ve experienced multiple miscarriages.
While using these other tools, also know that time is one of the most potent healers. Reassure her that she can take all the time she needs and that you’ll be there every step of the way.
6. Know when to get help
You can't be your wife's only support person. She might have friends and family that she can lean on, but she might also need outside support. It can be hard to know when to get external support when you're in the thick of it.
Miscarriage support groups are an excellent way for your wife to connect with people going through the same thing and share healing tips and tools together. You can also find pregnancy loss support groups for partners.
Even if your marriage feels smooth, it can always be helpful to have an objective perspective to help you through this difficult time. You may also want to encourage her to seek a mental health professional, especially if she is showing signs of depression or anxiety. Some psychologists and counselors specialize in grief and pregnancy loss. It can also be helpful to go to couple's counseling.
Supporting Your Wife After a Miscarriage
We know this is a hard time for both of you. It can be even harder to watch your wife struggle. She is so lucky to have such an incredible support system. Someone ready and willing to find out how to best support her and to put those tips into practice.
You’ll both get through this. As difficult as it may be, this is an opportunity to get closer and build your communication skills. Cake is here to support you along the way.
- Dugas, Carla, and Valori H Slane. “Miscarriage.” Stat Pearls Publishing, January 2021, Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.