It can be difficult to know what to say to someone who has been through a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, which is why the UK Miscarriage Association has launched a powerful campaign to help people come up with the right words
The Miscarriage Association’s #SimplySay campaign was launched earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for the MA said: “We know it’s not simple at all in many ways, because everyone’s experience is unique to them. Feelings, emotions, wants and needs can differ. That can make things tough for those who would like to offer support but who worry about saying the wrong thing.
Our campaign aims to make it easier for people to have those conversations. We’ll be encouraging family, friends and colleagues to acknowledge the loss and then to listen. Sometimes less is more.”
You might want to say a simple ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘This must be a difficult time for you’
Lizzie experienced six miscarriages and has found that writing a blog and documenting how she feels has help her to grieve and move through her painful journey.
She said: “I think that our western culture isn’t very good at dealing with loss or grief and I know at first I was looking to medical professionals to help me establish how serious my loss was and how to talk about it, which wasn’t a great idea as they were very clinical and matter of fact about it.
“It wasn’t until I eventually met some other people who had experienced similar losses that I realised I was grieving. It felt as though I had to learn a new language of how to talk about grief and how to express it. I also was offered some counselling sessions from a charity called PETALS and the counsellor there taught me how to grieve.
“My experience of recurrent miscarriage has been one of finding the courage to talk about struggle and loss, because I’ve found that it’s only in articulating and expressing my grief that I’ve been able to move forward and find hope and healing. I think miscarriage is becoming less of a taboo but it does still take a lot of courage to share your story. I also think it takes a lot of courage to hear someone’s story of loss and I think it’s important to support and provide information for those trying to support someone who has miscarried.”
Things not to say
The Miscarriage Association has said that occasionally comments that you make with the best of intentions, may upset someone who has experienced a miscarriage. Often these are comments that try to explain or rationalise the miscarriage, or put a positive spin on it.
Some examples might be:
“Don’t worry, you’re young. You can always have another baby.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
“It was probably for the best.”
“At least you have other children.”
If you are finding it difficult to find any words to say, maybe a brief note, card or a text to let them know you are thinking of them might be best.
Post your thoughts on the campaign on social media by using the #SimplySay and help spread the right words to say to anyone who may have been through the devastating loss of a child.
If you’d like further advice on supporting someone you know through pregnancy loss, you can call, email or write to the Miscarriage Association 01924 200799 (Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org