How To Help A Friend Help Through Pregnancy Loss

October is the month of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. Experiencing the loss of a baby is the worst thing which can happen to any parent. It could happen to your friend, girlfriend, sister, neighbor, co-worker. It is common. You should know that at such traumatizing times, support for loved one and help should come naturally.

Then-President Ronald Reagan when he declared the month of October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in 1988 said, “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan.”

“When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.”

It is important to understand, offer support, and help them recover from the loss. If you cannot acknowledge the person’s loss, it is better to keep quiet rather than making remarks or comments which might hurt them even more.

Pregnancy loss/grief takes a lot of time to heal, as it may be influenced by post-pregnancy hormones. Here are some basic principles which you need to know to help support

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the person who is experiencing the loss.

Offer Support/Help

It is normal for the grieving person to feel depressed, shocked, guilty, angry, and a sense of failure. The most sensible thing that you can do is to offer help and support. When you promise to help, show that you meant it and not just make it sound like empty promises.

Survival of loss is the worst thing possible. There are so many ways you can help the person grieving the loss of their baby. Any tangible tasks like running errands, help around the house, taking care of older kids, collecting funds for expenses incurred as a result of the loss, and finally commit yourself to doing it. These simple things can give the mom the rest and recover fast.

Just show up at their place and listen to them. Do not advice, but offer to help clean around, cook, and do the laundry, bring a meal, clean the dishes or walk the dog. Don’t ask what you can do to help, chances are they are not going to ask. You do not wait to

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be told, you should be able to handle and help on your own.

Think Before You Speak

Being mindful of what you speak is very important. It will be disheartening to see your loved one going through the loss, but that shouldn’t turn into an impulse to speak anything you want. Chances are it might hurt them more. Watch your words and think twice before you speak. The cliched lines like – everything happens for a reason, it was just meant to be like that – would only enrage them and make the situation worse.

People who go through the loss will feel better when you think and say things sensibly. Do not hurt them more by speaking with a ‘no big deal’ mentality. If you do not know what to speak or say, just remember to keep it simple and honest. Nothing more than – I’m sorry, I’m right here to help you – is honest, simple, and loving than saying stupid, silly things.

Grief Stays Long

The loss of a baby is a loss. It does not matter if it is over a

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week, month, or a year. Understand that grief is linear and does not start big and vanish over time. The thoughts about the loss could flare up anytime and make them emotional. Do not try to help the grieving person by hastening the process and pretending the loss is over. It is good to change the subject and talk about other things, but it may not be the case with everyone. Some parents may grieve more openly than others and some might be quiet. The support and help from friends might diminish over time but you need to be that one true friend who would help over time and be there always. The grief is lifelong and it will hurt, just understand and stand by the person.

Talk About The Pregnancy Loss

A study shows that people who have gone through pregnancy loss felt less alone with learning more about celebrities and friends sharing their miscarriage stories. Talking and sharing the loss stories can make you feel better. Talk with people who have gone through miscarriages and seek support or counseling to

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get out of the grief. Help and counsel the grieving person by lending an ear and being there.