Unless you’ve had a miscarriage, it may be hard to understand what someone must be going through when experiencing pregnancy loss. Not only are they losing a baby, but they are saying goodbye to a future they’ve created for this child and for their family. Miscarriage isn’t something that many people talk about openly, but it should be. Until I had a miscarriage, I had no idea the heart-wrenching grief it would cause and I came to ache for anyone that has ever experienced the heaviness of the loss I was feeling.
The biggest questions we were asked after losing our baby were “How can I help?” and “What can we do?” Honestly, it felt like no one could really “help” because nothing was going to change the fact that our baby was gone. I struggled to know what to ask for because I am not one to ask for help and I have a hard time accepting it. But in the days and weeks after losing our baby, the greatest blessings came in the form of friends and family who knew of our loss & wanted to step in to help in any way they could. We needed help more than we even knew, so I was very grateful for those family and friends who didn’t just passively say “Let me know if there is anything you need” but they showed up without being asked in several different ways and carried us through an incredibly hard time.
Here are 5 simple ways you can help after a miscarriage, all of which we received and found to be so helpful and appreciated:
- Provide Meals. After everything a family has been through physically & emotionally following a miscarriage, the last thing they want to do is think about cooking. We had several family members and friends bring us meals, order food to be delivered, send money to pay for meals, or give us gift cards to meal delivery services (DoorDash, etc.). We loved getting treats dropped off as well--sugar heals hearts, right?
- Send a text. Such a simple gesture, but it means so much to know that someone is thinking about you & aware of your loss. It may not be recommended to call or show up unannounced; chances are, she hasn’t showered in days, her house is a mess, & she might not be emotionally ready to be around other people besides her family. I may not have responded to every text I received during our miscarriage, but I appreciated every single one and every person who texted us.
- Offer to babysit. We don’t have kids yet, but my sister offered to watch our dog the first few days after our miscarriage & we needed that so much. It gave my husband and I time to just be with each other and take care of ourselves and grieve without the stress of taking care of anyone or anything else. I can imagine it would be much appreciated to those who do have kids to have someone watch them for a bit in the days or weeks following a loss.
- Drop off a thoughtful note or gift. When you are hurting so deeply, it means the world to have a friend drop off something to let you know they are thinking of you. Flowers, small pieces of jewelry, a cozy blanket, candles, and a book were all gifts I received and was so touched by. Most of these gifts were either mailed to us or left on our doorstep, which I was grateful for. I wasn’t always prepared to have a conversation with someone dropping off a gift; I was barely functioning most days following our miscarriage. The Good Grief Miscarriage Journal would be an incredibly thoughtful gift to give. I would have loved to have been gifted a Good Grief Journal during this time.
- Don’t expect anything from them. We were so grateful to the family and friends that reached out, dropped off gifts, meals, flowers, etc.. Many friends reached out saying they were there to talk, but it took a long time for me to even respond to many messages, let alone be able to talk about the miscarriage. Know that they will feel and appreciate your love & support, but they might not have the energy to respond to a message at that time. If there is anything you can do to relieve their responsibilities, offer to take those things off their plate. I promise they will be so grateful.
If you are aware that a couple has had a miscarriage, these are just a few ways you can be there to support them, particularly in the immediate aftermath. As a couple continues to grieve, I would encourage you to keep showing up in the days, weeks, and months following their loss; the healing process will take time. It is so important to remember those friends a few months down the road and to check in and see how they are doing. Let them know their loss is still on your mind, that their baby was and continues to be significant, and that it is okay if they are still grieving. The grief may not be as debilitating as it was in the days following their miscarriage, but they are probably still hurting. Gifting them a Good Grief Journal, specifically the Miscarriage Journal, would be a great way to let them know you are still thinking of them even after the immediate tragedy has passed.
Losing a baby doesn’t get easier, but couples learn to live with it a little more each day. I’ve learned that grief comes in waves, often catching a grieving mother off guard. For me, I can be fine one moment, and then see a mom with her sweet baby walking by and become a puddle of tears on the floor, aching for the child I lost. You won’t always know when your loved one is going through one of these particularly hard grief days, but these 5 ways to help after miscarriage can be given any time and I can guarantee they will always be appreciated.
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