Simply Say Campaign
Miscarriage is surprisingly common, affecting around one in four pregnancies, and yet we often find it difficult to talk about. It can be hard to know what to say to a friend who has just lost a baby, and sometimes it can feel easier to avoid the subject altogether. If you've ever experienced a miscarriage yourself, you may have been hurt by the responses from some of your friends and family who have seemed not to want to recognise what you have been through or who have said something which has hurt despite being well-meaning.
With this in mind, the Miscarriage Association (https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk) has launched a fantastic new campaign called Simply Say to help people know what to say, and what not to say, to someone who has been through a miscarriage or an ectopic or molar pregnancy. The charity talked to women and their partners about what they found particularly helpful, and unhelpful, after pregnancy loss. Although everyone is an individual and every circumstance is different, just acknowledging and recognising the loss made a difference.
They've produced lots of resources on their webpages (https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/simply-say/), including a really helpful list of things that are always helpful to say and things that can be really upsetting.
The campaign is called Simply Say because simply saying you are sorry is a response that is always welcome. The Miscarriage Association advises that even at the earliest stages of pregnancy, women and their partners often feel a real connection to their baby, and will grieve for this baby and for the future they had imagined. So you may want to say:
“I'm very sorry that you have lost your baby.”
“This must be really difficult for you.”
“I don't know what to say.”
The things which can be upsetting for anyone who has had a miscarriage are often people trying to put a positive spin on the experience or to explain it. This is often done with the best possible intentions to try to cheer someone up or to make them feel better, but may not be helpful. The things the Miscarriage Association suggests not saying include:
“Don't worry, you're young. You can always have another baby.”
“It wasn't meant to be.”
“It was probably for the best.”
“At least you know you can get pregnant.”
“At least you have other children.”
The Miscarriage Association will be welcomed by anyone who has lost a baby - and by anyone who has been uncertain how to respond to a friend or family member who has been through a miscarriage. You can find out much more on the Simply Say campaign webpages: https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/simply-say/.