The day my friend texted me to say she’d had another miscarriage, I sat in my rocking chair and cried. The words on my phone seemed too small for the big pain they held. As the sound of my daughters’ play drifted to me from their room, I thought, “They’ll never play with this baby. I’ll never hold this baby.” In that moment, her loss became bigger. It wasn’t just her loss; it was a loss that affected the whole world.
The first time a friend told me about a miscarriage, I didn’t know what to do or say. I stumbled awkwardly over words and was glad when the topic moved on. I ignored her pain because of my own discomfort and uncertainty. Miscarriage is a topic our society struggles with, despite the fact that 1 in 4 women have suffered it. I can quickly count half a dozen friends who’ve had one or more miscarriages. And they, in their pain and faith, have taught me.
If you also have a friend who has had a miscarriage, here are a few simple things you can do to support her.
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3 Ways to Support a Friend after Miscarriage
Flowers are a simple, beautiful gesture that you are thinking and praying for your friend. Even if you live far away, it’s easy to order flowers online and have them delivered.
Send a book
Like flowers, books can be a source of comfort. Holding a book about something difficult that I’m going through tells me I’m not alone; not only has the author also faced this, but every other woman who has held this book.
Here are some books I’d recommend for a mom after miscarriage:
- Grieving the Child I Never Knew: A Devotional for Comfort in the Loss of Your Unborn or Newly Born Child by Kathe Wunnenberg is a beautiful devotional journal by a mom with babies in heaven. This hardcover book offers comfort, prayers, practical advice, and space to write about your own grief.
- Unexpected Blossoming: A Journey of Grief and Hope by Anna Eastland is a book of poetry by a mom who lost a baby in labour. The poems were written in the year after her daughter’s death and lyrically chronicle Anna’s grieving and healing.
- After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing and Hope by Karen Edmisten is a book Anna recommends. After Miscarriage shares the author’s story of multiple miscarriages, as well as other women’s story, along with practical advice and information from both secular and Catholic sources.
Send a memory bear
Anne from Kidderbug Creations makes adorable stuffed animals in memory of those who have passed on. If your friend has a baby blanket or other clothes that were intended for the miscarried baby, a memory bear could be a beautiful way to use those items. One of my friends lost her son when he was two years old; he had a bunny which is now included in every annual family photo, as a way to keep the son’s memory alive.
Make a basket
Some of my friends here in Vancouver make “Mother Mary” baskets for women who’ve faced a loss. These baskets include pamphlets about grief and miscarriage, prayer cards, one of the above books, and comfort items like candles, bath salts, chocolates, tea, lotion, etc. The basket doesn’t need to be big but again offers comfort to the mom—and permission to pamper and take care of herself during this time of grief.
4T Boxes also has a beautiful gift box for moms who never get to hold their babies. The Shooting Star includes tea, body oil, a candle and a notebook. The box is easy to order on the website for a friend, especially when you have no words to say for the loss.
More Ways to Help a Hurting Friend
For more ideas on how to support a friend after miscarriage, check out my friend Debbie’s post about beautiful gifts that have helped her. She says,
I’m okay. And not because I’m over it, and definitely not because I am passed the grief.It’s because it was overall, a life-changing, priority-straightening, horrific experience repeated many, MANY times over, and I am here today in a better place than I was yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. But I didn’t do it alone. My family, my living child, and my friends – both casual and close, did all they could to help me through it. Their empathetic tears, lack of judgement, love, generosity of heart, and support is what this seemingly resilient woman needed, to face her greatest weakness. Loss. There are many moments – too many to count – in the last 3 years of my life, where I never thought I could get through it. But with these small yet profound acts of kindness, I got through the most challenging moments of my life, and continue to do so.
Mary Haseltine also has a list of posts about pregnancy loss, including Scriptures and song for miscarriage and how to honour life in the midst of grief.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. If you know a friend who has suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth, call her or send her a note, flowers, or other gift. Take a moment to pray for women who suffer from miscarriage and infant loss.
Have you or a friend suffered miscarriage or stillbirth? What tips would you suggest to support a friend after miscarriage?