No one tells you how difficult it can be to have a miscarriage.
There is no manual and no training course that can prepare you. Whether miscarriage happens after a few days or 20 weeks it can be confusing, painful and upsetting. To hear that your partner is pregnant can be one of the most exciting news you will hear in your lifetime. To go from that to hearing your partner suffered pregnancy loss can be devastating.
A miscarriage is defined as a loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. The cause is often unexplained.
While the pregnancy may have lasted only a few weeks the emotional impact is one that can be felt for weeks, months and even years to come. It may be difficult to understand what your loved one is going through.
Here are some helpful ways to support a partner going through a miscarriage
1. Be supportive
Listen with a nonjudgmental ear. Do not try to fix it.
Let your partner talk about it as much as they need to. Whether the support you show is active listening, reassurance or simply being present and grieving together it is important that your partner know that no matter what they can count on you right now.
2. Ask how your partner is feeling
This may sound rather obvious but is so important in processing a miscarriage. Continue to ask how they are feeling and ask how you can be supportive.
Your partner might not know if they need support or what kind of support they need. Continuing to ask will let your partner know that when they are ready for the support you will be there for them. It is good to have an understanding that one day they might feel fine and the next day they could feel grief-stricken.
It is important to take one day at a time when going through a miscarriage.
3. Encourage positive coping skills
Positive coping skills are coping skills that are healthy for you. Examples of healthy coping skills are walking, yoga, acupuncture, If you can find something that you both like and can do it together it can be very therapeutic.
It can also be a great time to talk about your feelings for you and your partner.
4. Wait for them to bring up trying again
It will be on both of your minds, but your partner may still feel effects of the last pregnancy still and may not feel like she is not pregnant.
Give your partner the time they need to grief and be at a place where they can open up their hearts and their bodies for another pregnancy. Remember that your opinion counts too. While it can be helpful to wait for your partner to bring it up you do have a say in future family planning.
5. Recognize that this miscarriage happened to you as well
Be supportive but ask for support as well from your partner, friends or a professional.
As much as there is a stigma for women to discuss having experienced a miscarriage the stigma for a partner is even higher.
While you should continue to communicate with your wife it can be helpful to have someone on the outside that can help you to understand how you are feeling about the miscarriage. You might not be experiencing the feelings that your wife is and that is okay. Talking to someone about how to be supportive when you have different feelings can be helpful as well.
If you or someone that you love is experiencing a miscarriage you are not alone. There is support.