Helping a Friend or Family Member who has had a Miscarriage
Miscarriage is common but often misunderstood by those who have not walked though it. A person’s experience of pain and loss is subjective. Here are some reminders for those who are sharing this journey:
What not to say…
“Don’t worry you can have another baby.”
“Well, at least you know you can get pregnant.”
“You have other children.”
“It wasn’t a real baby.”
“Aren’t you over that yet?”
“Lots of women have miscarriages – it’s no big deal.”
Even worse, as can happen in a Chinese culture, is to blame the mother for getting “cold” or, as happens in a Western culture, to blame the mother for “overdoing things”.
“It’s nothing you’ve done and it’s nothing you haven’t done. It happens.”
Dr. Juliette Kinn, OB/GYN, Oasis Hospital Beijing
What not to do…
Don’t avoid your friend even if she is not much fun to be around right now. She needs you more than ever. Don’t pretend it never happened. The mother may be hurt by your silence about her miscarriage.
What to do…
Just be a friend. Bring over nutritious soups. Listen. Empathize and be a shoulder to cry on. Give her a well-written book on the subject of miscarriage, such as ‘Silent Grief’ by Clara Hinton. Keep inviting the mother out to social events even if she refuses to go – eventually she will want to.
When the time is right, hold out the hope we have as Christians that we will see our loved ones that we never got to hold on this earth. Watch ‘Heaven is for Real’ together or give the mother the book to read.
Don’t forget the father. Men hurt too although they may grieve in different ways from the mother. Encourage the mother and father to draw closer together in their grief and not pull apart. Give the father the space to share his sadness about the hopes and dreams that died with the baby.
China Hope Center will be hosting a miscarriage support group in the near future. If you are interested in attending this, whether your miscarriage was recent or many years ago, please contact Hayley@chinahopecenter.org