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How to Help

How to Show Up: A Guide to Support a Loved One’s Miscarriage

Author -

Kimberly Jolasun

Miscarriages suck. Here are some tips to offer emotional and practical support to your friend, partner, or loved one during a difficult time.

As a partner or close friend, it is devastating to hear about a miscarriage. You want to do everything you can to provide support. But knowing exactly what to do, practically, is hard. We’ve been there. Based on personal experience, the women behind Villie have put together this guide to support your loved one's miscarriage.

Listen without judgment

One of the most important things you can do as a friend is to simply listen. Your friend may need to talk about their feelings and the pain they are experiencing. Be there for them, listen to them, and offer your support. Don't try to solve their problems or offer advice unless they ask for it. Just let them know that you're there for them and that they can talk to you whenever they need to.

Offer practical support

Your friend may need practical help during this time and at Villie we recognize that 'help' is different for every person. Offer to help with household chores, pick up the groceries, meal preparation, or childcare if they have other children. You could take the dog for a walk. If they need time off work, offer to cover for them or help with paperwork. Small gestures like this can make a big difference during this difficult time.

Send a thoughtful gesture

Sending a thoughtful gesture, like a bouquet of flowers or a handwritten note, can mean a lot to someone who is going through a difficult time. It shows that you're thinking of them and that you care. Don’t know what to say? Don’t overthink it - just say I’m sorry, or this sucks, or I’m here for you.

Be patient

It takes time to heal after a miscarriage, and everyone handles it differently. Some people may want to talk about it all the time, while others may prefer to avoid the topic. Respect your friend's wishes and be patient with them. If they don't want to talk about it, don't push them. Just be there for them whenever they need you.

Take care of yourself

Miscarriages impact more than one person. It's important to take care of yourself, too. Supporting someone through a difficult time can be emotionally draining, so make sure you're taking care of your own needs, too. Reach out to your own support network, whether it's friends, family, or a therapist, to help you process your own feelings.

Know where to get professional help (and when it’s needed)

Call 988 if you or your loved one needs to talk to someone immediately. This is a free and confidential emotional support hotline for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Don’t know what to watch for? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, seek professional help if you or your loved one is experiencing these signs for more than 2 weeks: 

  • Excessive or irrational worry
  • Trouble sleeping, concentrating, or taking care of yourself
  • Trembling, muscle tension, sweating, or nausea
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Tearfulness
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, or numb
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Talk therapy can be helpful for all sorts of grief. For access to in-person therapy, you can search Psychology Today, an electronic database of mental health professionals that can be searched by location, sliding scale pricing, and specialty. Or, ask a doctor for a recommendation.

You have the power to make a difference

A miscarriage is a devastating experience for anyone, but as a friend, you have the power to make a difference. By listening without judgment, offering practical support, sending thoughtful gestures, being patient, and taking care of yourself, you can provide the support your friend needs during this challenging time.

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