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How to console someone who has had a miscarriage

Readers Lounge By Rachel Mbogo
With all the joy of anticipation, no one expects the visitor of grief to come knocking (Shutterstock)

Miscarriage can be devastating, making someone go to the extremes. With all the joy of anticipation, no one expects the visitor of grief to come knocking. It breaks up someone emotionally, mentally and physically.

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Here is what works as a great consolation tactic:

Empathize

Start by validating the loss. It does not matter whether the miscarriage happened at 3 weeks or 8 months. The former mother-to-be wants to be reminded of the existence. Avoid brushing it off and refer to the passed on baby by their name, if it is well with the grieving parents.

Offer a hug and allow them to cry. This is not the time to expect your friend to be strong. Provide an open space for them to burst their emotions out. Don’t tell them to calm down, because they do not know how to.

Help with chores

A miscarriage takes a toll on somebody’s physical well being. They may have gone through an operation and having a rough time moving around. Be kind enough to offer them a helping hand. Cooking a warm bowl of comfort food can go a long way. Instead of sitting as a guest to be served, wear some gloves and scrub the floors. Do something to relieve the affected of the cleaning burden.

Do not bring up the blame game card

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Trying to bring up an investigative report of why the miscarriage happened is one of the worst consolation strategies. It does not matter whether the mother-to-be ate liver or too many pineapples. Maybe they were in a roughly driven vehicle. That, or whichever reason that the doctors cited are not worth digging into.

Trying to bring up an investigative report of why the miscarriage happened is one of the worst consolation strategies (Shutterstock)

Acknowledge their current feelings of loss

 Ensure you do not use ‘at least’ sentiments. Telling your friend something like, ‘‘At least you won’t deal with stretch marks or sleepless nights’’ is off. Not only does it show you belittle their feelings but also does not cheer them up as intended.  Try avoiding cliché statements. Phrases like ‘God knows’, ‘It is okay’, or ‘It wasn’t your time’ set someone who is grieving off. It comes out as being insensitive. A tip, if you really have nothing to say, be quiet, and listen.

Give them time alone if they wish

Some people want some time off to deal with the loss privately. If you are making efforts to reach out that are falling on deaf ears, don’t feel locked out. Send some flowers, a card or a package you know they would like and leave a voice mail. Once they are ready to open their doors to people again, they will let you know. After all, no man is an island. The wave of grief will pass after a while.

Do not talk about future babies

Trying to console someone by telling them how lucky they are to have future babies does more harm than good. Much as it is true that their survival means they can reproduce later, it is inappropriate at that time. Revolve your conversation around what they currently feel and not future plans. In many instances, your affected friend can have too much a clogged up mind to even envision their next day.

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Help them find the support they need

Suggesting therapy sessions is a great way to offer help. You can leave the professional’s address which they can access when ready.

 

Going through a miscarriage is a great setback which can be seen through having a good support system. Be that friend, able to pull out their partner off their dark place. They will surely thank you later.

 

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