Figuring how to comfort someone who has just suffered a pregnancy loss is not an easy or comfortable thing to do. You may have the best, supportive intentions – but I have to warn you that if any of the following things come out of your mouth, you may want to duck.
I know “lists of things you shouldn’t say” can be tedious – but in this case you may really not know that there is anything wrong with the following statements. All women are different, but as someone who has experienced several miscarriages I can attest to the fact that none of the following statements made me feel better, and some of them even made me feel worse.
1. At least you were only a few weeks along.
It’s a good idea to avoid minimizing someone’s pain when they are going through something traumatic – just as a rule.
2. You can always try again.
You have no idea how long someone may have been trying for the pregnancy they just lost, so this will come off as pretty callous.
3. Do you think X/Y/Z caused it?
Why? Why would you ever say this? There’s enough unnecessary guilt involved in the process – do not add to that.
4. Miscarriages are very common.
My ER nurse said this to me while I was bleeding all over a triage room. It did not make me feel better to be told that it was the 8th miscarriage she attended that day.
5. Are you going to get tested to make sure nothing is wrong with you?
You know, they have a test to make sure your uterus can actually successfully host a baby. Huh? Refrain from making medical statements to a grieving friend. Just be a friend – not a doctor.