The things you should never say to a woman who has had a miscarriage

The heartbreak of losing a baby can be amplified by the well-meaning but hurtful things people say to women after they’ve suffered a miscarriage, a new campaign reveals.

Women have spoken about the insensitive things people have said to them after a miscarriage, admitting the comments did not ease the pain, but instead made the ordeal more upsetting.

A video campaign from the Tommy’s charity in the UK not only raises public awareness of the all-too-common issue of miscarriage, but is a lesson in reminding people to think before they speak. It has gone viral, shared more than 30,000 times since its release.

Tommy’s is raising money for research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage.

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In Australia up to one in four confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks, but many other women miscarry without having realised they are pregnant.

Phrases including “it happened for a reason”, “at least it happened early” and “at least it wasn’t a real baby yet” are now part of the #misCOURAGE campaign of things we shouldn’t say, where a woman called Rosie also bravely spoke about her experience.

More than 2000 people have commented on the video, many women revealing the thoughtless things said to them in their time of grief.

Commenters include Diane Forrest, who says no-one can say anything to make you feel better: “Just sending prayers and love helps”.

Sarah Turner says she remembers the date of every loss as if it’s branded in her memory. “The most hurtful comment I ever received was ‘it’s for the best’. I’ll never forget that either,” she says.

Laura Waters says she has had two miscarriages, but thinks “it’s a bit sad to suggest that friends and family trying to comfort you is hurtful”.

Sophia Vasquez suggests rather than talking about the problems, people should talk about the solutions: “What would you have wanted to hear instead?” she asks.

Watch Rosie’s story here:

In Australia, the Sands National Support Line offers a confidential telephone helpline that provides support for anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.

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