It’s heartbreaking to hear about miscarriage, especially from someone you care about. Their hopes and dreams for their child can transform into a painful ache in their heart. You want to help, but worry about saying the wrong thing or making your loved one more upset.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What to Consider Before You Share an Encouraging Message With a Loved One Who Had a Miscarriage
- Inspiring Words to Share With a Loved One Who Had a Miscarriage
- Other Ways to Encourage a Loved One Who’s Had a Miscarriage
Remember that they need your support and encouragement now more than ever. Might it feel awkward at first? Maybe. But with a little preparation, you can find a few ways to show your love and support without stepping all over their experience.
Learn more here about what to consider before saying something, some thoughtful messages to share, and some other ways to comfort someone who’s had a miscarriage. Above all, show up in their life and be there.
What to Consider Before You Share an Encouraging Message With a Loved One Who Had a Miscarriage
Support from others is vital because miscarriage can be an invisible loss. When there’s no baby, it doesn’t feel the same as going to the funeral of a child or adult you’ve known. This can make grief even more difficult. It can feel awkward to talk about, and the family may feel like the world has moved on without them.
Prepare something in advance
This is not a good time to improvise. You may mean well, but it’s easy to fall back on things you’ve heard or read somewhere.
Not every commonly shared message about loss and grief is helpful, even if they seem so at first. Do your homework and create a short message that conveys compassion and understanding.
Time and place
Be aware of when you might share your condolences for a loved one’s miscarriage. Consider whether you’ll have privacy or if it may be in a public space.
If you run into a person you’d planned on supporting but the situation isn’t right, don’t avoid the topic. Briefly mention that you know they’ve been through a lot recently. Maybe you could get in touch again at a different time, but that you are thinking of them. Then follow up with a card or message soon.
The closeness of your relationship
If you’re a close friend, take the initiative and offer your support right away. They may not be ready to say much, but your acknowledgment will be meaningful.
If the person you’d like to comfort is an acquaintance or someone you haven’t been close to in a while, a card, personal note, or private message through social media may be a better approach.
Understanding if they’ve asked for privacy
Pay attention to how you learned the news. Some people ask for privacy or to be left alone after making an announcement.
Give them time to process their loss. If you feel like you have a close enough relationship that they’d welcome a message from you, it may be appropriate to send a short private note acknowledging their loss and saying you are there for them.
Inspiring Words to Share With a Loved One Who Had a Miscarriage
When you’re ready to say something to your loved one, it’s best to have a few things in mind. These suggestions are thoughtful and reassuring to someone who’s just lost their baby.
1. “I’m so sorry.”
Share this genuine reaction to them, even if it sounds too simple or like a cliché. Here are a few reasons why this is one of the best and easiest things to say when reaching out to someone going through grief:
- It expresses your sorrow.
- It acknowledges their loss and pain.
- It’s brief and easy to accept or acknowledge.
- It doesn’t necessarily need a reply, so there’s less pressure on them.
- It doesn’t make an assumption about their experience.
- It doesn’t dismiss or diminish their experience.
2. “How are you doing, really?”
This comment is probably better if you and your loved one have a close relationship. Saying this to a casual acquaintance may feel awkward. But if you believe your loved one trusts you, gently nudging them to open up can help them face reality in a safe space. Let them know it’s OK to feel like a mess, to feel confused or overwhelmed.
If they keep it casual or brush aside your invitation, accept this as a sign they aren’t ready to be vulnerable to you yet. Miscarriage can be a silent loss that can make it difficult to talk about. Tell your loved one you’re there for them any time and that you plan to reach out again.
3. “This is a lot to handle, but we’ll get through it together.”
Grief involves a lot of change, adjustment, and deep emotions. The mind works hard to absorb change and reorient itself to a new and unwanted situation. Let your loved one know you realize this even if they don’t say it.
The journey of grief is a unique experience, so it is a solitary journey in some ways. However, it doesn’t mean they have to feel lonely. You can’t take the steps for them, but you can stay by their side when they need someone to lean on.
4. “We don’t have to talk about it, I can just be here with you.”
Some people may want support but aren’t ready to talk about their experience. They may avoid spending time with others because they worry about being pressured to open up.
Take this concern off the table by assuring your loved one they don’t need to say anything if they aren’t ready. If they trust you and your time together seems helpful, they may eventually share their thoughts and feelings.
5. “Whatever you’re feeling, that’s OK. It’s your grief, nobody else’s.”
It’s tempting to assume what your loved one may be feeling. Sadness is a common emotion during periods of grief, but it’s not the only one they may experience. And feelings can change from moment to moment. Feeling numb for a while is normal, especially early on.
Anger, disorientation, and guilt are common as well. So instead of saying, “I know what you’re feeling,” acknowledge that their reaction is OK no matter what it is.
6. “I’m not sure what to say, but I do care about you.”
It can be hard to put grief into words, but it’s important to say something. You and your loved one may be at a loss for words, so be authentic with that.
You don’t have to be perfect and pulled together to give support. Letting them know you care is more important than waiting until you have the perfect words.
7. “It’s not fair, and it hurts. My heart aches for you.”
You may not be sure how your loved one feels, but you can share your pain over their loss. No matter what emotion they may be feeling at the moment, loss by miscarriage is an awful experience.
It’s not fair, and you can say that. When you acknowledge their pain, your loved one can feel seen, heard, and understood.
8. “Don’t say any of these things.”
These comments are insensitive, dismissive, and fail to acknowledge the devastating loss of a miscarriage. Avoid these phrases or anything like them, even if you hear other people saying them.
- “It’s God’s will.”
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”
- “It’s good you weren’t too far along, and it wasn’t a real baby yet.”
- “You’re still young. You can have another baby.”
- “I’m sure you’ll feel better soon and get over it.”
- “It wasn’t meant to be.”
Other Ways to Encourage a Loved One Who’s Had a Miscarriage
Supportive words aren’t the only way to show your concern. These ideas can help you connect with your loved one as they adjust to their new reality.
Offer help with practical tasks
While miscarriage takes a heavy emotional toll, it also impacts a woman’s body. Healing and recovery may be uncomfortable in the early days or weeks following a miscarriage. Offer to do some practical help doing errands, chores around the house, or take care of meals for a few days.
Send flowers or a personal gift
If you still need time to find the right words to support your loved one, sending a gift is a good place to start. A beautiful flower arrangement can say a lot. You can send out a bouquet quickly, and your message on the card can be brief.
A small gift or miscarriage keepsake may be another way to share your condolences. A statue, Christmas ornament, or memorial blanket are a few ideas. Your gift can be a gentle reminder of your support and love.
Invite them to lunch, coffee, or something enjoyable
Treat this invitation as an enjoyable distraction with no pressure to talk about things if they don’t want to. Sometimes a pleasant activity with another person is a good way to pass the time, and conversation doesn’t have to be a large part of the experience. Look for a concert in the park, a guided nature walk, or a funny movie.
Supporting a Friend Through Miscarriage
Miscarriage is a difficult loss for families to cope with. The loss of an innocent and the unseen nature of miscarriage can make the news tough to absorb. But with a thoughtful approach, you can offer support and a safe space for your loved one to grieve. With your help, they don’t have to go through their miscarriage alone.
- MiscarriageAssociation.org.uk. “Miscarriage: the facts and your feelings.” November 2018, miscarriageassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Miscarriage-The-Facts-Your-Feelings_Nov18_w-links.pdf
- AmericanPregnancy.org. “What to say to someone who had a miscarriage.” April 25 2017, americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/pregnancy-loss/what-to-say-to-someone-who-had-a-miscarriage-71061/