It’s difficult to know how to support your partner after a miscarriage. Even though miscarriages are common (roughly 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage), they’re still very personal and heartbreaking to experience, so it’s normal to feel at a loss with what to do or say to comfort your partner or spouse.
Your support during this trying time can make all the difference to their emotional and physical recovery, but if you’re not sure what that should look like, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some ideas for how to support your partner during and after a miscarriage.
1) Talk about the miscarriage
You’re not expected to know how your partner is feeling or what they need. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. A miscarriage brings up a lot feelings; it’s not something that should be swept under the rug.
Your partner might feel like they have to hide her grief and pretend everything is fine in order to spare other people from her pain. Encourage her to talk and let her know that you can handle her big feelings.
You should also talk about how you’re feeling. You may be going through your own grief, and if you need help dealing with your own pain in order to comfort your partner, that’s okay. What matters most is that you two work together to heal and find peace after such a tragic loss. Give yourselves permission to grieve out loud.
It’s also important to recognize that miscarriage is a traumatic event, so it’s okay if your partner doesn’t want to talk about it right away. She may be in shock and need time alone with her thoughts before she feels ready to discuss what happened with you. It might also help if you give her space after she has had time alone with her thoughts. Don’t pressure her into talking if she isn’t ready yet, but let her know that you’re there when she is ready and willing to talk about it.
2) Offer Reassurance
Although you can’t do anything to fix the pain, there are ways you can help your partner cope with miscarriage. Offer as much reassurance as possible, even if you’re not sure exactly what your partner is going through. Reassure her that she’s not alone and that she’ll get through it. Let her know that you’ll be there for her no matter what.
You may also want to reassure her that it wasn’t anyone’s fault; miscarriages happen in about 15 percent of pregnancies and they have nothing to do with how healthy or fit someone is or whether they did something wrong while pregnant.
People who have miscarriages are often depressed afterwards; some people even feel guilty about causing their own miscarriage because of things they did or didn’t do during pregnancy. So, make sure your partner knows that it’s not her fault and that you’re there for her no matter what.
3) Let Her Grief Be As Big As It Needs To Be
No one grieves in exactly the same way. No two-loss experiences are identical. The best thing you can do for your partner is to allow them their grief, no matter how long it takes or how big it gets. They’re grieving someone who was very real and very important to them—that fact doesn’t change, even though they no longer exist.
Miscarriage grief may show up as:
- Tears at random times
- Guilt, even if they don’t directly blame themselves
- Misdirected anger
- Panic that they won’t be able to get pregnant again
When you see this showing up, don’t try to fix it. This is probably one of the hardest things for people who love someone who’s grieving because we want so badly to make it better, but you can’t do that. You can’t take away her pain or make it go away, but what you can do is help her through it by being there for her and letting her know that she’s not alone in their grief.
4) Create Room For Confusing Feelings
If your partner seems to be having trouble processing their feelings around the miscarriage, ask her what she needs. Give her space if she seems overwhelmed, and offer comfort when appropriate. It’s important not to tell her how she should feel—you can’t know exactly how you would react in any given situation until you’re actually in it. Instead of trying to fix or change her feelings, just let her have those feelings—they are valid and real.
When it comes to trying again, some women may want to start trying right away and some women may want to wait. It takes time to heal emotionally and physically from a miscarriage, so try your best to be patient and listen. Trust that they know what they need.
5) Anticipate Triggers Related To Their Miscarriage
When the miscarriage wound is still raw, Other pregnant women, baby showers and more may trigger difficult feelings for your partner. Anticipate these triggers and help them through it by reminding them that they are not alone in their grief.
If you’re having trouble understanding what she’s going through, be honest with her about that. She’ll appreciate knowing you’re there to support her even if you don’t understand what she’s feeling. If you find yourself getting frustrated or upset at how long it is taking for your partner to move on from their miscarriage, take a step back and try to remember that every person deals with grief differently. Remind yourself of all of the wonderful things about your relationship with your partner and remind yourself of why you love being together so much!
It’s important to know that grief comes in waves. You may think your partner is through the hardest part, and then, out of nowhere, they’re back in the grief about the miscarriage. Grief has no time limit. Be patient with them and allow them to process their feelings at their own pace. Be there for them when they need you most; don’t push them away because you feel uncomfortable or helpless. The best thing you can do for your partner is to be there for them emotionally, even if it doesn’t feel like you are doing anything productive at all.
Check-in with her even when you think the grief has passed. You never know what is going on inside of her and she may need your support at any time.