When a friend or family member loses her baby
The most important thing to remember when someone you love tells you this
devastating news is to listen. You may want to offer some sort of
advice or say something to minimize her pain, but it is very hard to say the
right thing. Almost impossible. The only truly safe things to say are:
"I am so sorry."
"I will help you in any way I can. Tell me what I can do."
"I am here to listen whenever you need me."
As you read over this site, you will see what she will be facing in the next
days and weeks. You will learn she will have a number of phases of grief
herself, and that the physical changes in her body might sometimes make it
difficult for you to communicate with her or for her to tell you what is
happening. Some of the details are embarrassing or frightening, such as bleeding
or risks or pain. Others are inexplicable, such as why she can't stop crying, or
why she and her partner are seeming to fall away from each other.
During this time, your unconditional understanding is critical. Do not criticize
her choices or insist on any particular behavior. Comfort her, listen, and offer
your help. She will work through this best with a steady, calm friend, not
someone pushing another agenda, or another set of solutions on her.
One section of this site to read carefully is
This will show you the many ugly faces that coworkers, family members, and
friends sometimes show, even if unintentional. Don't let this be you!
Send her flowers. A teddy bear for the baby. Give a donation to some
child-related or miscarriage organization. Show her what happened to her
matters, or if she wants to not talk about it for a while, let her steer the
conversation. Don't press for information she may not be able to give.
If you are pregnant, please realize this is a difficult place to be.
Don't exclude her from showers or activities, but be clear you do not expect her
to attend if she isn't up for it. Try to be tasteful in your mentioning your
condition--let her bring it up. Yes, it is a joyful time for you, but spread
your joy to others for now, and understand that when she is ready to talk about
your baby or take part in that area of your life, she will do it on her own.