TOP 10 TERRIBLE THINGS PEOPLE SAY AFTER PREGNANCY AND REPRODUCTIVE LOSS
Most people have no idea how painful reproductive loss can be.
Here are our top 10 terrible things that caring people say, that can unintentionally add to the heartbreak of reproductive loss.
#10 You’re Young, You’ll Have More Babies.
You Can Always Try Again.
Grief after miscarriage, pregnancy and reproductive loss can be as unique as fingerprints. But it’s a safe bet that no one would appreciate hearing this sentence. Do you have children? If you lost one, would it be OK to say that they can easily be replaced with a new one?
#9 At least you haven’t created your nursery yet.
Do you think that easier interior design makes them feel better about their pregnancy or reproductive loss? In her mind – and her partner’s mind – they didn’t need to physically rearrange rooms. They were already mentally rearranging their whole lives.
#8 It happens all the time. At least it happened early.
Yes, miscarriage and reproductive loss is common. As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and that is just one type of reproductive loss. Elderly deaths happen often too.
If a grandparent died, would you say this to their family?
#7 It wasn’t meant to be.
This is OK to say when someone doesn’t land a job. This is not OK to say when a pregnancy is lost, or an infertile couple can’t conceive.
#6 You didn’t want a baby anyway. Children are a lot of work.
Wrong! I was pregnant, and now I’m not. Or I am infertile and heartbroken. I’m sad about it, so I did want a baby. You have people in your life who need your love and care. Do you wish that they weren’t alive, just because they’re a lot of work?
#5 God wanted your child in heaven. Your child was too wonderful to be on earth with us. Your child is in a better place now.
You would think that these sentences, which are all really saying the same thing, may bring peace to someone after pregnancy loss or infertility. But if you never got to meet your children, would this comfort you?
#4 This is why people wait before they tell anyone they’re pregnant.
Are you saying that they somehow jinxed their own pregnancy by telling people? Or does this mean that sharing pregnancy loss or infertility news adds to the pain? This heartbreak isn’t made worse by sharing. In fact, recognizing and acknowledging the grief of pregnancy loss and infertility is an important part of processing it. Most families worry that their miscarried or stillborn baby will be forgotten, so talking about it is extremely important. Another way to memorialize is by wearing a Forget Me Not Pin, sending a Forget Me Not sympathy card, or sharing your story on social media with #ForgetMeNot2022.
#3 Your miscarriage was so long ago, shouldn’t you be over it by now?
How long does it normally take someone to process their grief? Trick question! There is no such thing as a normal time. Grief after pregnancy and reproductive loss is different for everyone. Some people find comfort quickly; others may take decades to find a path to peace. Provide them with love and support without looking at a calendar.
#2 There was probably something wrong with it anyway.
This is one of the most horrific things that well-meaning people say. Now that I am grieving after pregnancy loss or infertility, and perhaps feeling like a failure, feel free to call my baby damaged too. With friends like these…
And our vote for the #1 WORST THING TO SAY to someone after a pregnancy loss…
#1 Do you think you did something to make it happen?
Not everyone experiences emotional pain after miscarriage, infertility or pregnancy loss. But those who do may feel an unrelenting anguish and grief. They may be questioning everything that they drank, ate and did during their pregnancy and their attempts to conceive. They may be harshly, internally judging themselves. If they are searching for a path to peace, this questions is the worst that you could ask. Don’t add to their pain – offer comfort instead.
How Can You Help?
Want to help those impacted? See our Top 10 Terrific Things To Say And Do for great ways to help!
Share your story on social media with #ForgetMeNot2022.
Visit Reproductivegrief.org for more tips and tools on how to help anyone impacted by pregnancy or reproductive loss.