This is not a topic that people typically like to talk about.
It can be incredibly sad, lonely and life changing for those who are experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Thankfully the topic of infant and pregnancy loss is being openly discussed much more in the recent years, but support people can (understandably) be confused on what steps and actions they can take.
Here is a brief guide of what you can do (or not do) to support a friend or loved one who has recently gone through this experience.
1. Simply let them know you are there, if and when they need you.
A text message, email, or note in their mailbox. It can be an extremely isolating time, but at the same time they might not feel like seeing anyone at all. Just let them know you are there for a talk, cry or laugh whenever they are ready.
2. Acknowledge that it happened.
If they felt safe enough to disclose to you of their loss, acknowledge it with a simple “I’m so sorry” if you are unsure of what else to say. Not acknowledging it happened is like saying everything is fine! It is not.
3. Some No-No triggering phrases:
X ‘Well at least you know you can get pregnant’
X ‘Everything happens for a reason’
X ‘You can always try for another’
X ‘Better it happened early’
X ‘At least you already have a child’
4. Check in often.
There are stages to grief and everyone deals with their loss differently. It can take time for people to feel ready to open up or go about their regular daily lives. When real life does resume, be aware that this might be something they carry with them. A simple check in goes a long way.
5. If or when they become pregnant again..
understand they are likely carrying a lot of anxieties and stressors alongside this subsequent pregnancy (like being pregnant wasn’t stressful enough on its own). Keep being the awesome support person you are- it truly makes all the difference.