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What NOT to Say (when someone is struggling with pregnancy or infant loss)

Did you know a miscarriage happens as often as 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies?

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Although people don’t need reminders for their loss, this day is an opportunity to break the silence.

I asked people to share what others have said to them in an attempt to comfort them after pregnacy and infant loss.

Here are some things that were said that were not comforting...

It wasn't meant to be.

Everything that happens, happens for a reason.

"It" probably wasn't going to be a healthy baby anyway.

Doctor, after looking at my ultrasound: "Your uterus is empty".

Well maybe this baby wasn't going to be cute like the nest one will be.

It could be worse, at least...

You're lucky she didn't have to suffer here.

You still have time to try again. She was too perfect for this world.

There must have been something wrong with "it", so you're lucky you lost "it".

Well at least it's your first and not one in a long line, though I guess maybe that could still happen.

At least you have one healthy child.

Her life wouldn't have been great quality and you would have had to do so many surgeries, and that's not fair for her.

Well at least you can get pregnant, some people can't.

Although you may be shocked by these responses, they are very common. In fact, I think we’ve all said things we didn’t intend to say when we were uncomfortable. This is why it’s important to talk about this.

Here are a few things that some of the women found comforting:

❤️ I’m so sorry, I’ve lost a baby as well.

❤️ I’m familiar with how painful this loss is.

❤️ She felt all the love you gave her.

❤️ How are you doing?

❤️ Do you need to talk?

In the same vein, another woman said, “don’t ask us, how are you doing?, ‘cause we really don't know!”

Above all else, we need to keep in mind that everyone grieves, copes and heals differently. Therefore, it’s important not to judge someone or tell them how to grieve, cope and heal.

You may feel at a loss as to to how to support someone in their loss. That’s okay. It is uncomfortable, it’s real life, and it requires vulnerability and genuine connection.

It’s never too late to apologize for something you said. It’s okay to not know what to say. Grieving will never be easy, but with the support of loved ones who have made efforts to learn how to comfort someone with these losses, the shame and guilt may lessened.

NB Copes is running a pregnancy & infant loss group starting this month. Read more about it here.

~ Taylor, Clinical Therapist

We're here if you want to talk :) Take the first step and call us for an appointment ...(506) 651-1239

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