Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Blogging "M is for..."

From the Series "Words Matter"
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Editor, Nebraska Family Times newspaper

Around 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, so chances are great someone you know has, or will, experience a miscarriage. When someone suffers a miscarriage the loss is real, even if there was no outward evidence of the baby. The parents, as well as siblings, grandparents, and other relatives, suffer the loss of hopes and dreams about a baby who now will not be born.  Here are some suggestions for comforting someone who has experienced that loss. 

What to Say

  • “I’m so very sorry for your loss!”
  • “How are you feeling?” (This allows the woman to talk about her physical, as well as emotional, feelings.)
  • “I cannot imagine the pain and loss you must be feeling!”
  • “It’s OK to be mad at God.”
  • “I’ve experienced miscarriages; it was a very painful time. If I can help you by telling you about it, please let me know.”
  • “We lost a baby several years ago." 
  • “What a great loss! I’m praying for your peace and for God to give you comfort and peace and continued direction in your life.” 

What Not to Say

  • “It wasn’t really a baby, just a bunch of cells. Don’t be so sad.”
  • “It must have been deformed.”
  • “It just wasn’t mean to be.” (If the other person says this, it’s OK to agree with her.)
  • “At least you have your other children.” (Babies are not interchangeable!)
  • “You might not have been a good parent anyway.”
  • “You won’t miss what you never had.”
  • “You can have my children!”
  • “Do you want to hold my baby?”
  • “You’re not missing much; kids are so much trouble.”
  • “At least you didn’t get attached to the baby.”
  • “I just know God will give you your miracle baby.” (No, you do not know that!)
  • “It’s God’s will--accept it and move on.”
  • “You can try again.”  “You‘ll get pregnant again soon.” “You’ll have a healthy baby someday.” (Many women are not able to conceive after a miscarriage, or have multiple miscarriages.) 

What to Do
  • The general suggestions about what to do after a death, earlier in the chapter, are appropriate, as well as the following.
  • Acknowledge the loss as you would any other death; with cards, flowers, and memorials. 
  • If you have experienced a miscarriage, say something like, “I lost a baby, too, and it was very hard!” Don’t go into the details unless the other person asks; this is not about your experience, but about sympathizing with the person who has just recently experienced the loss.
  • Remember that the father, grandparents and siblings are feeling the loss, too! Express your sympathies to them. CAUTION: Make sure extended family members were aware of the pregnancy before mentioning the miscarriage; the parents might not have shared the news of the pregnancy with all family members.  
  • Remember that as well as the emotional loss, the mother is experiencing the physical manifestations of miscarriage; hormonal and physical changes, and possibly a surgical procedure. Offer to take a meal, clean her house, watch her kids, go shopping for groceries, and so on, so she can begin to heal physically as well as emotionally.
  • Accept and encourage any rituals that the parents choose, to help them remember the baby. They might want to make footprints, and/or have a memorial service or burial.  
  • Ask the parents how they are doing weeks and months later (especially around the baby‘s due date), not just immediately after the miscarriage. 
  • Remember that it takes time to grieve this loss of a baby; it does not take less time to recover from the death of an unborn baby, than the death of an adult loved one. 
  • Realize that a person who has had a miscarriage may cry when she sees a diaper commercial, a baby, or attends a baby shower. 
  • Send a card or e-mail; consider including a verse like Psalm 18:30, Pro. 3:5-6, or Matt. 14:19. 
Don’t . . . 
  • . . . ask for the baby furniture or any supplies purchased for the baby who died.
  • . . . clean out the nursery for them; doing that is part of the healing process. It is OK to help if you’re asked. 
This post is an excerpt from “What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky Uncomfortable Situations”
by Shelly Burke, RN. Coming soon!
 Download “What Should I Say” and be prepared for any of life’s sticky, tricky uncomfortable situations!
The mission of the “Nebraska Family Times” is to “inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk.” To receive local, state and national news from a Christian point of view, as well as devotions, Bible Study and articles about all aspects of Christian life, in your mailbox every month, subscribe for only $20 for 12 issues! Click “Subscribe” on the sidebar or send your address and payment to Nebraska Family Times, 209 27th St. Apt. #13, Columbus, NE 68601.
I am also taking the Blogging A to Z Challenge at 
where the theme is “Lifehacks for Christian Moms.”

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