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5 ways to support a friend who has lost a child in miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal loss.
When a friend experiences miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal loss, it is hard to know what to do and how to help. These five tips will offer some places to start with helping a bereaved friend:
Let the mother talk. Let her share what she has experienced and feels. Again and again and again if necessary. Often, the trauma of delivery leaves a need to rehash the physical events, and the feelings associated with loss are overewhelming, which means it takes time to process them.
Sometimes grief simply needs company. At those times, say nothing. Join her in her grief and cry.
- Talk about her child.
It’s not a matter of reminding her of her loss in these raw stages but of acknowledging the importance of her loss. Some moms who miscarry do not choose to name their babies, but if she named her child, use the name. Letting her talk about her child is important for her.
- Offer to help
with daily tasks that may be physically(due to healing) or emotionally overwhelming. Bring meals, clean the bathroom, drive her older children to where they need to be. And when the medical bills arrive, sit down with her as she pays them.
- Remember important dates.
All of the firsts are difficult after any loss, but a more invisible to society loss like miscarriage or stillbirth means many forget. Don’t be afraid to remember. Call and say, “It’s been a month since Baby died. I’m sad.” Bring her a flower on the baby’s due date. Acknowledge the difficulty of Mother’s Day.
Take the time to be with a friend who loses a baby. It will make all the difference to her and create a bond tighter than was previously known between friends.