What Not to Say to a Woman Who Has Miscarried
Meghan Markle recently shared, in a beautiful essay, the profound sadness of her recent miscarriage. She writes about how grateful she was to be asked, “Are you okay?” Such a simple question – but rare.
What I learned from my many years as an obstetrician/gynecologist and from my many hundreds of patients who suffered miscarriages is that for a woman with a wanted pregnancy, she is already in love with the future child she has lost. She is grieving a future that feels like it has been taken from her. She blames herself – for having gone for that run, for having had sex, for having eaten spicy food – for everything.
- Don’t say, “It was probably an unhealthy pregnancy, so it’s for the best.”
- Don’t say, “I know someone who had ten miscarriages and then had four healthy children.:
- Don’t say, “Don’t worry – you’ll be able to get pregnant again soon.”
It might be helpful to say, “I’m so sorry.”
It might be helpful to ask, “Are you okay?”
It might be helpful to ask, “Do you want to talk about it?”
It might be helpful to ask those two questions in a week, and in two weeks, and in a month.
Don’t tell yourself you don’t know what to say and then say nothing. Just be a kind and caring friend.