What NOT TO SAY to someone experiencing a pregnancy/infant loss
Like my previous article talking about advice for mothers/families experiencing a loss, I also compiled a list of things that women who have experienced a loss want others to learn not to say during or after their loss. These are things that don’t help us feel any better and even sometimes make us feel worse.
One thing I have noticed while going through my own stillbirth as well as talking to other moms, who have experienced a loss, is people seem to think that losses farther along in pregnancy are harder than those early on. Or that if you have a loss after you already have kids that it’s okay and you should just focus on the other children. I surveyed some women who have experienced losses and these are the things they wish people WOULD NOT say when they experienced their loss.
· At least you weren’t that far along” , will your next baby replace the one you lost, when are you going to try again?
· “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be”
· “You can try to get pregnant again”
· “At least you know you can get pregnant”
· “god just needed another angel”
· “at least it was early”
· “it will happen when it’s meant to happen”
· “You can just try again. At least you already have one. God has a plan.”
· "maybe there was something wrong and God knew you couldn't deal with it"
· Well now you can move on ...
· The last one just wasn't meant to be....
· You are young. You can have more.
· God knew you just weren’t ready.
· They are in a better place
· "Are you pregnant again yet?"
· "Your angel was needed elsewhere"
· oh well let's not talk about it and try and change the subject like my kids didn't exist!
· "God's will"
· "Try again" (lost 9 before my rainbow)
· "Be glad you don't have kids, being a mom is hard"
· When they would hide their pregnancies from me because they assumed I couldn't be happy for them.
· God always has a plan and oh at least u can get pregnant or when I got pregnant oh now u can forget about your loss
· “Everything happens for a reason” and “It’s God’s plan” are the stupidest things people say over and over again. I also hated it when people asked during my pregnancy if it was my first or now if my son is my first. I don’t understand the logic of this question. Who cares which number it is? Just congratulate me or say he’s s beautiful baby and keep walking.
· "Oh not to worry darling you can try again"
· It wasn’t meant to be. You can try again.
· Miscarriages are common.
· After having my son and losing a pregnancy people have said, at least you have your son.
· "Well you can always have another one." And "you can’t really feel the loss since you never heard the heart, felt it move, or saw it so I mean it’s kind of like you weren’t pregnant"
· It is never okay to say it was for the best
· " I know how you feel"
· "It's okay"
· One thing told to. Us as well was " your son would've probably been sick anyway so you lucked out"
· I wish people wouldn't say anything that begins with "At least..."
· After losing multiple times but still wanting to try again it was said "maybe this is the sign that you should be done and grateful for the kids you do have" not what I needed to hear.
· “At least you already have one, can’t you just be grateful you have him?”.
· “At least your baby/pregnancy was only ____ weeks along (meaning earlier in the pregnancy), instead of _____ months along (later in the pregnancy).” Like, “at least you were only 12 weeks along and didn’t know if you were having a boy or a girl, instead of 25 weeks along and seeing an actual baby.” Because losing a baby earlier in the pregnancy is easier than losing it later in the pregnancy? No. No, it’s not.
These responses were all things that were said to women experiencing loss. If you or someone you know knows someone experiencing a loss of any kind, please share this list with them so they know what NOT to say to the person experiencing. The best thing you can do is just be there for them, let them cry on your shoulder, bring them a meal, help with other kids if needed. Just be their friend.