A survey of grieving mothers who have suffered miscarriages has found the most devastating things that their friends have ever said in a bid to comfort them. According to Mayo Clinic, 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but that is a low estimate because miscarriages can happen so early that women don't even know they're pregnant.
It can be so difficult to help a friend through something like this, especially if you've not been through it yourself. But a survey of women who have gone through the traumatic experience has now revealed that three quarters of women who have suffered a miscarriage have been devastated by insensitive comments — from their friends.
The survey, which spoke to 1,821 women, found that more than a third had been told "It wasn't a real baby" by someone they considered a friend, and 57 percent said that friends had told them their miscarriage meant there was something wrong with the baby.
Three quarters were told "It's nature's way," and seven in 10 were told "Don't worry, you can try again soon." The poll, commissioned by ChannelMum.com, found that 29 percent of women were told it wasn't "that bad" as they already have another child. Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com, said: "The majority of women suffer at least one miscarriage and many have several, so why is it still so hard to talk about openly?
"We talk about 'losing a child,' but the parents will always keep the pain of that loss with them — and many need to talk about it to help heal. It's worth remembering words are powerful so choose yours carefully. The wrong phrase, particularly one which belittles the loss or apportions blame, can be devastating. But a few well-chosen and thoughtful words can set a mom on the road to recovery."
Almost half of the women polled revealed that they wanted to talk about their miscarriage with other people but didn't feel able to. A shocking 59 percent of women struggled through the heartbreak without any support whatsoever. As a result of this, 37 percent went on to suffer mental health issues or depression, and one in 10 even had suicidal thoughts. Three in 10 women avoided visiting friends with new babies and 65 percent were upset even by seeing other pregnant women.
What you should never say to someone who has had a miscarriage:
— It's nature's way.
— Don't worry, you can try again soon.
— It means there was something wrong with your baby.
— It wasn't a "good baby."
— Everything happens for a reason.
— It wasn't your time.
— It's the best thing given the situation.
— You'll be fine!
— Get over it.
— In my day we just treated it like a heavy period and got on with it.
— At least you know you can get pregnant.
— What did you do to make it happen?
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
What you should say to someone who has had a miscarriage.
— Your baby will always be with you in your heart.
— Even though it was early, it was still your baby.
— It wasn't your fault.
— It sucks. It will suck for a long time but at some point, it won't be as bad.
— I'm here if you want to talk about it.
— I'm sorry for your loss.
— It was a baby, and it was loved.
— Be kind to yourself.
— It's OK to cry.
— It's OK to be angry.
— It's OK to be sad.
— I love you.
This post was written by Emma Dodds. For more, check out our sister site Closer.