Miscarriage is an ugly word. But statistics suggest it’s more common than we realize. It is because of this fear that a pregnant woman will refrain from telling the wider world her news till 12 weeks. If the worst happens, how are you supposed to help your friend? If someone close to you has been through this – here is what helps them (and what does not).
1. Say you are sorry, but do not dwell on it for too long. She has already been through, and is still going through, the worst.
2. Don’t ask what happened, how it happened. She knows it all too well; rehashing it won’t make her feel any better. If she brings it up, be a sympathetic listener, let her have her say.
3. Wait for her to reach out. Nothing is more painful than reading one condolence message after another.
4. Give her space. She needs to grieve, cope in her own way and in her own time.
5. If you are a close friend, tell her acquaintances (who knew of her pregnancy) about her loss. It will prevent awkward conversations, where they ask her what happened or, worse, ask her when the baby is due.
6. Stay cheerful around her. She wants normalcy to return. She knows it will take time, but help her find it.
7. Don’t ask “Are you okay?” She’s not. Your asking won’t help. Not so soon, anyway.
8. False platitudes are just that. Avoid them. She is already telling herself everything – coming from someone else, it sounds off.