Knowing what to say to somebody who has miscarried can be quite difficult, in fact even after going through this myself, I wouldn’t know what to say either. There is no specific ‘right thing’ to say. I can however point you away from the things hat I wouldn’t recommend saying. Even though you think they may be the appropriate or helpful things to say they mat actually be doing more damage than good!
1. You can always try again – Yes this may be true, but a mother will still want to grieve for the child they never got to know.
2. At least you already have ‘x number’ of beautiful children – The children a woman has do not replace the one(s) she has lost, it does not diminish the love she has for them or imply she is not grateful for what she’s got. She is just grieving a loss which in any other circumstances is accepted as being normal.
3. At least it was early on – I’m not saying that it isn’t worse later in pregnancy but being told this can make a woman feel as if she has no right to grieve as others suffer more. Anyone who suffers a miscarriage at any point should not be made to feel that their loss is not important.
4. It wasn’t really a baby yet – Fetus, cells whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. When you find out you’re pregnant it’s a baby, you plan things for your baby and you already start feeling like a mother to your child.
5. It’s probably for the best – Best for who?
6. It won’t happen again – This is very well meaning, but how do you know? Some women suffer from recurrent miscarriages and being reassured that everything will be fine next time might back fire on you.
7. It was gods will – Now I’m not even slightly religious so comments like this are like water off a ducks back to me but I understand that many people are. Being told that somebody else didn’t want you to have this baby and wanted to make you suffer cannot be a nice feeling. Allow the sufferer to come around to this conclusion in their own time if they choose to do so.
8. It’s normal/ It’s common/ It happens – This is true but as it’s still quite a taboo subject nobody goes into planning a pregnancy with the thought that it would end in miscarriage. It is likely that the woman will feel anything but ‘normal’.
The only things you can say really is ‘i’m sorry’, and let them know that you are there if they need you.