It is unimaginable to even think that an expectant mother will experience an unsuccessful pregnancy. Yet sadly a fifth of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and the loss and grief felt after the miscarriage can be devastating.
When a woman experiences a miscarriage, the risk for depression is great. This risk is increased if she has a history of diagnosed clinical depression, if she lacks a supportive enviornment, and if there are other factors adding to the stress.
Women who suffer through the loss of a pregnancy (just like any grieving parent) know better than anyone how well-meaning friends and family can unintentionally say all the wrong things: "It was meant to be." "It was God's will." "It's better that it happened early." "You can always get pregnant again." "Thank goodness you have your health." and so on. Needless to say, this doesn't help.
Unfortunately, women are often left to suffer alone, because most friends and family are eager for her rapid return to a previous level of functioning, perhaps dismissing the depth of her pain. This only makes it worse, leaving the mother feeling isolated and misunderstood. If this lasts too long these elements can also cause depression to develop.
The Difficult Scenario: How Do I Handle This? What Do I Say?
Scenario: You were supposed to have found out the sex of the baby, but instead you learned the baby died. One of the hardest moments to endure, having to tell family that the pregnancy has ended makes the death of new hopes and dreams painfully real.
When first speaking on this subject, it's best to keep the discussion brief. They may have questions, but answering those questions can wait until you are feeling better. Sometimes it's better to tell a close friend and they can notify family; it just depends on how you feel expressing this information.
Even if no one knew of your pregnancy, it is not recommended that you keep this devastating event to yourself. Most of your friends and family would want to be there for you during this difficult time. You are denying them an opportunity to help you when you really could use it. Not only are you hurting emotionally but the effects of the miscarriage may be causing physical pain as well.
Even though you had a miscarriage, you do not have to pretend that the pregnancy did not mean anything to you.You don’t have to pretend this wasn't a big deal, or that the baby wasn’t real. You were expecting an amazing outcome that would have added to you family, and you lost it. This is not a small thing.