New research has revealed the best (and worst) things you can say to someone who has been through a miscarriage.
The survey, conducted by parenting site Channel Mum, found that three quarters of women who have suffered the loss have been made to feel worse by comments from friends and family, whose words were intended to comfort them, but actually ended up having the opposite effect.
More than a third of the 1,821 women polled said that they were told that ‘it wasn’t a real baby’, whilst seven in ten were told not to worry, because they could ‘try again soon’.
Other phrases highlighted as particularly hurtful included: ‘It means there was something wrong with your baby’, ‘At least you know you can get pregnant,’ and ‘It’s the best thing given the situation’.
Shockingly, some women even reported being advised that ‘in my day we just treated it like a heavy period and got on with it.’
Half of the participants said that they’d wanted to talk about their miscarriage, but felt unable to do so, and 59 per cent went through the experience without any form of support.
However, the study also uncovered some genuinely helpful messages and phrases that can be used to offer this much-needed strength and kindness.
12 things to say to someone who’s had a miscarriage
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1. ‘Your baby will always be with you in your heart’
2. ‘Even though it was early it was still your baby’
3. ‘It wasn’t your fault’
4. ‘It’s s**t. It will be s**t for a long time but at some point, it won’t be quite as s**t’
5. ‘I’m here if you want to talk about it’
6. ‘I’m sorry for your loss’
7. ‘It WAS a baby and it was loved’
8. ‘Be kind to yourself’
9. ‘It’s okay to cry’
10. ‘It’s okay to be angry’
11. ‘It’s okay to be sad’
12. ‘I love you’
It’s estimated that around a quarter of a million pregnancies in the UK end in miscarriage every year.