Miscarriage is a part of my story and the reason for Whimsy + Wellness. Sadly, it’s also a common story for many other women. I’m thankful for communities like ours, that grieve together and hope together. Because many of you know my story, you’ve asked how to help a friend through a miscarriage, and I wanted to help answer that question!
Here’s how to help a friend through a miscarriage:
- Let her know you’re available if she wants to talk
- Send her a thoughtful gift
- Check in with her
- Help her heal
- Help the whole family
- Help her remember and honor her lost babe
Everybody Grieves Differently–Your Job is to Support and Listen
The truth is, every woman (and family!) is very different, and the circumstances surrounding each pregnancy are different. The best position to take during this time is one of support and listening. Support her in whatever practical ways you can, listen, and take your cues from her and her situation.
Whatever you do, definitely don’t avoid the subject! I know grief is such a scary thing, and you might be afraid to bring up something painful for her, but she hasn’t forgotten that she’s miscarried! Tell her that if she’d like to talk about it, you’ve there for her.
Feelings After a Miscarriage Are Unexpected
It’s worth remembering that SO many different feelings come with miscarriage. Grief is a complicated, messy emotion, and she might even be dealing with unexpected feelings, like relief, especially if she was scared of pregnancy or didn’t feel she was ready to be pregnant or give birth.
I’ve heard from women who didn’t feel grief over their miscarriage–and then felt guilty because they didn’t feel the way they were “supposed” to feel.
If you’ve experienced miscarriage yourself, you may want to offer to share your experience. If you’ve experienced another kind of grief, allow it to increase your empathy for your friend, but don’t burden her with stories she might not have the heart to hear right now.
Grief Doesn’t End
Do not expect your friend to just get over it. Grief over a miscarriage never really ends. And it might take her a year or more before she’s even really ready to start processing. Another event in her life–like another pregnancy or some other happy thing–can even trigger grief for her. Just understand that grief never really ends, and that’s ok.
Messages You Can Send to Help a Friend Through a Miscarriage
Here are some scripts you can use over text, over the phone, or in person:
- I am grieving with you
- You don’t have to respond to this message, but I am thinking about you and am here if you want to talk
- I am so sorry for your loss
- I’m sure you must be feeling so many things right now; just a reminder that all your feelings are valid and you are loved
- I’ve experienced miscarriage also; if you’d like to talk about it, I’m here
- I’ve experienced loss, too–my heart hurts for you right now
- You are a good mother; I’m so glad your little could grow with you, even for a brief time
Don’t Try to Explain It
Don’t justify or try to explain her miscarriage! That’s always our go-to, but this can be extremely painful for somebody going through loss.
It’s very likely that your friend is blaming herself, and you trying to find something she could have done differently simply isn’t helpful. Brené Brown says, “‘At least’ is never a good start to an empathic response.”
I heard from doctors, coworkers, and even friends: at least you know you can get pregnant! Everything happens for a reason. You can have fun trying again! Just try not to think about it too much and you’ll get pregnant again.
This list of unhelpful things just triggered more pain. I didn’t feel validated in my feelings, but rather that I should just be thankful for whatever it was they were saying and move on.
Now is not the time to suggest a new doctor or health remedy–wait, unless she asks you specifically for that advice.
If you’ve been through a miscarriage, you likely had things that helped you, but remember that your friend’s experience might be totally different than yours! Follow her lead, listen, and ask first.
Send Her a Thoughtful Gift
Gifts can be such powerful ways to help a friend through a miscarriage. Here are a few ideas–if you have more, share them in the comments below and we’ll add them to this post!
Gift ideas to help a friend through a miscarriage:
- Care package from Laurel Box
- Jewelry made with rose quartz (rose quartz symbolizes love)
- A crystal she can hold in her hand or display
- An essential oil roller made with a rose quartz and aventurine
- A comforting essential oil blend, made just for her (keep reading for some recipe ideas)
- Packet of seeds or a plant she can plant
- Drop off a dinner or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop
- A beautiful, cozy blanket or sweater to feel surrounded by love
- Tea and a mug (chamomile or a blend with lavender are lovely choices)
- Some favorite snacks or drinks
- A heartfelt card
- A sleep mask + diffuser blend or linen spray to help her rest
- A diffuser + lavender oil
- Create a comforting playlist just for her
- A beautiful print or hopeful saying you know she loves
- Beautiful neck wrap or heating pad to bring comfort
- A gift certificate so she can visit a therapist
- Mother jewelry or prints, to remind her she’s still a mother
Check In With Her
One thing you can do is set reminders in your calendar to follow up with your friend. In many instances, there’s a rush of help and compassion at the beginning. After a few weeks–or even months or years–people don’t ask how you’re doing as often, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still struggling!
Having a friend check back in later might mean the world to somebody who has experienced miscarriage.
Another thing you can do is be intentional about saying her little one’s name, if she chose one and shared it with you. Doing this is a powerful way to recognize not just your friend’s loss through miscarriage, but also the sweet little life, however brief!
You can also keep your friend in mind whenever somebody in your friend circle or her family is announcing a pregnancy or having a baby shower or a gender-reveal party–these times can be brutal. I remember being happy for my friends, but also hurting so bad at the same time.
Help Her Heal
One of the very real issues your friend might be dealing with after a miscarriage is her body’s healing. She might be in pain and she might even have to undergo a procedure (or she might have already undergone one).
These are some of my favorite blends for peace, healing, and comfort:
Peace Roller Blend
6 lavender + 5 bergamot + 3 fir + 2 sandalwood
Add drops to 10ml roller bottle, fill with carrier oil.
Roll on neck and wrists to bring feelings of peace and grounding.
Pair with blue lace agate.
Trust the Process Diffuser Blend
5 fir + 3 bergamot + 3 frankincense + 1 ylang ylang
Add drops of oils to water in diffuser and breathe deeply.
Pair with clear quartz.
Rainbow Perfume Spray
12 orange + 12 tangerine + 9 ylang ylang + 9 jasmine + 9 sandalwood
Add drops to 1 oz spray bottle, then fill with vodka (witch hazel or water work too!).
Shake well before each spray. Spritz yourself as you would with any perfume to bring out your inner child.
Pair with pink opal.
Gentle Sleep Diffuser Blend
30 cedarwood + 30 lavender + 15 chamomile + 13 vetiver
Add oils to a 15ml dropper bottle. Shake to combine. Add 5 drops into your diffuser before bed.
Pair with amethyst.
We’ve Lost That Calm Feeling Roller Blend Just for Kids
3 frankincense + 2 vetiver
Add drops to 10ml roller bottle, fill with carrier oil.
Use with littles ages 3+, dilute further for younger. Roll on wrists for a calming feeling.
Pair with white howlite.
(You can go here to learn more about pairing crystals and oils or here to learn how to make a roller bottle with essential oils.)
Don’t Forget the Whole Family
As you help a friend through a miscarriage, don’t forget about the rest of her family. It’s often not just the mom who suffers–it’s the dad and siblings, and even sometimes extended family. You can bring gifts for the dad or siblings, as well, or find ways to communicate your love and support to everyone grieving.
Ways to support the whole family:
- Bring toys or books for siblings (or a sweet oil roller set for littles)
- Offer to take the kids to the park for an hour or two
- Drop off a bag of groceries–yummy snacks the kids will love and easy meals
- Make essential oil rollers just for her kids!
- Send a card just for dad to let him know you’re thinking about him, too
- Send a house cleaning service, or come over and do a few loads of laundry or dishes
Help Her Remember and Honor Her Lost Child
Holding space in your heart for your friend’s little one is powerful. Say his or her name if your friend has shared it, and check in with your friend over the years. She won’t forget, and some milestones (like Mother’s Day, her due date) may be even more poignant as the years go by. Even a simple text on those days, letting her know you love her, can speak volumes.
However you decide to help a friend through a miscarriage, one of the most helpful things you can do is just be there for your friend. Listen to her, support her, and offer help where you can. She won’t forget how you showed up for her.
How have friends shown up for you after a miscarriage? How have you helped a friend? Share in the comments; we’d love to hear what has meant the most to you.