HomeWords of AdviceMiscarriage Advice for Parents

Miscarriage Advice for Parents

“Be kind to yourself. Expect that it’s gonna be tough, and just allow yourself to be there. It’s so silent, people are so silent about miscarriage and pregnancy loss, and sometimes people find it insignificant. All of those external judgements can impact how you’re grieving, and what you think people expect you to do. And I would say, just give yourself permission to do what you need to do, and be kind.”

“[Although everything I found online about miscarriage focused on grief], I really feel that [my miscarriage] was not [a loss]. I don’t want to say that it was a good thing, I just feel that it made me [feel] even more confident in my body. It solidified my faith in my body. I don’t think I had that before. I was really unsure if I could even get pregnant before, you know if something is wrong with me [after we had been trying for a year and a half]. When I got [pregnant, even] after I miscarried, I thought about my body and I was just really, really happy that I got pregnant on my terms, exactly the way I wanted to do it [at home insemination] and I’ll do it again. I wanted to find more hope [in other people’s experiences.]”

“Figure out a way to honor the loss with community. Whatever community means for you, the person, to ritualize it in a way, ceremonialize it in a way, to have witnesses so that you’re not so isolated and alone in it. Because I think it can be so isolating and alone and probably even more so in queer families. So, to have community around to be the eyes and ears even when you don’t feel like you have them…. [I came to realize that] it wasn’t just my loss. It was this whole community of people who had met her. And so everybody was affected by that loss in a different way.”

“Memorialization can occur at any time. I may go back now and do something around that miscarriage. I might just do a symbolic burial or something [to honor] that part of my life. I don’t think it’s ever too late. You know? So I think, I think that’s the other piece is, I think there’s always time to heal from these things. It might be 10 years down the road for somebody, and so if someone body had a miscarriage and never was able to memorialize it and if they needed to, they could do it now and it still have meaning.”

“Know the statistics—25% of pregnancies end in miscarriages! That type of education is important [ahead of time], so you don’t feel it’s your fault.” “I didn’t know before we were pregnant that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage…. We were blindsided. [I want people to know.] You don’t want people thinking really negatively [during their pregnancies], but people should be prepared.”

”Be open about it. I think our culture has so much shame and secrecy…. We just don’t talk about it. And so for me what was one of the most helpful things was just finding out that so many other people had been through it and …. that it was a shared experience with so many other[s]. And so I kind of make a point now to mention … the first pregnancy and the fact that we lost it, because I feel like the more we all start talking about it the better it is for everyone, you know. [For] women down the road who have miscarriages, instead of thinking that they’re the only ones [they can know there are others]. So, if you’re able, don’t keep it a secret. Let people know about it and hopefully that will help you find resources and, someday too, that will help you to be a resource for someone else.”

“I have a co-worker whose wife experienced a miscarriage this weekend [and he told us] that he, they, went camping. He told me in confidence that in fact, he hadn’t gone camping, that he’d spent the weekend with his wife who has lost her second pregnancy in six months. Then I watched him [as] all of our colleagues said, ‘How was your camping trip?’ And he said, ‘It was fantastic, thanks so much for asking, lots of trees, lots of ocean.’ He was lying.… I think [we need to be] transparent about these [experiences]. Especially as somebody who’s experienced an abortion and somebody who’s experienced a miscarriage, I think really being clear about those losses is so, so, so, so important politically as well as mental health wise. [You can say] ‘I’m pregnant now, but this is my third pregnancy. I’m pregnant now, but I have no history of viable birth….’ And if you’ve lost babies, ‘I have also lost babies.’ I’m trying to make that kind of invisible trauma visible, which of course is a coming out project [too].”

“As you’re preparing to get pregnant, I think it’s important to know about miscarriage and …. and not be blind to the possibilities of, like, you know, not all pregnancies continue as planned. It would have been really helpful for me to know the frequency (approximately 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage). [If I had known more, I also] would have stayed at home [rather than go to the hospital because I was scared. I wish that I could have] let it be and not medicalized a non-medical event. [In the hospital, I felt] controlled by an institution and at the whim of their approval or disapproval. [I wish I could have] called a doula friend or somebody to come and guide us through it.”

“Have people on board with [you] before [you] even start trying. [Not everyone] can, but I think that’s an important thing. It’s kind of weird because getting pregnant can be such a private thing, but then when you need help with a miscarriage, how nice is it to be able to call somebody who knew you were trying? [So,] if at all possible, talk to people and let them know. Have your closest support [ready to help you if you need it].”

“This [loss] is a part of your life and you’re gonna be hearing these questions [about it] for the rest of your life. You’re gonna have to come up with something [to tell people] that works for you. One of my favorite pieces of advice [was] that if it’s someone you’re just meeting for a brief time, once or for a brief time, then generally [I just tell them about my] living children. [But] if it was someone that you’re gonna have a longer relationship with, that you’re gonna work with them for an extended period of time or that you were gonna be having to see for any period of time in the future, [then I would tell them about] the [children I] didn’t have anymore.”

“It’s a funny thing to say but, death is natural and normal. Even the death of children. It’s horrifying of course, [but] I have a very good friend who’s like my mom, who is almost 79, and she lost a daughter. Her daughter was 11, and she was abducted, and raped, and murdered…. And that experience puts things in perspective or me and informs it, because she is someone who, despite how horrible that experience was, has gone on to be an inspiration to others and is loving and loves life and wasn’t destroyed by it…and, and if anything, is stronger. There’s a way we need to see our losses in the context of the losses of humanity…. We have to grieve, but also, we’re a society that is compartmentalized and isolated from death and loss…its part of life, and it’s nothing new, and the fact we don’t lose children in the ways people used to keeps us from the horror of it…. There’s something about having inspiration of knowing people, that people can survive loss and can be flourishing fantastic people even though they have experienced death and loss. For me, in some ways, that’s always informed my experience.”

“One piece of advice that I would give right from the beginning, whether it’s in a miscarriage context or within a trying to get pregnant context, is to make sure that the health care providers you’re working with are genuinely supportive and non-homophobic in a really heartfelt, real way. [You need] someone in the group of people who are helping you to try to conceive or who are helping you through a pregnancy …. who are just genuinely a hundred percent supportive of you on your journey, wherever it goes to.”

return to Words of Advice

return to top of page