Breaking the silence around miscarriage is a tough thing to do, and one of the problems is that many people feel awkward talking about the subject of loss with those that have experienced it, or are going through it, for fear of saying the wrong thing and feeling uncomfortable. It can also be hard for others to address as it can awaken anxieties that people do not want to confront.
That is why it is so refreshing to see the Miscarriage Association’s campaign ‘Simply Say’, which aims to help people to understand the best way to communicate with those who have experienced pregnancy loss.
We’ve all had people say stupid things to us about miscarriage and loss, mainly through ignorance.
One of the comments that always frustrated me after my early pregnancy losses, and which is still repeated to me today when I discuss it, is ‘it’s very common’. This not only dismisses the experience but also implies there is no need to find out why – as if commonality is an answer in itself. It may be meant as reassurance that a lot of people go through the same thing, but it ends up sounding as if you shouldn’t be making a fuss about it.
The fact that miscarriage is so common is all the more reason we should be doing our best to break the stigma of talking about it and finding out more about how to prevent it.
If you don’t know what to say, it’s ok to admit that, or simply say, ‘I’m sorry – I’m here if you need me.’
So the next time someone says something stupid about miscarriage, I’ll try to gently encourage them to examine what they are saying, its effect and what would be better to say in the future.
Image from Pixabay.
2 thoughts on “Saying the right thing”
When I told my neighbor we had a miscarriage at 9 weeks after finally getting pregnant on our 4th round of DEIVF, she said “well isn’t that a good thing, you know you can get pregnant?” and I just looked at her and said “no, miscarriage is never a good thing,” and left it at that. It’s the best I could do. Funny, people would never have said that if the child had been born and died at 6 months – they would actually treat it as real loss, you know?
Yes it’s very frustrating when people are so dismissive of miscarriage – I wish they would think before they speak and understand the importance of their language. Hopefully your response made them stop and question themselves. Sorry for your loss x