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How Not to Comfort Someone After a Miscarriage

By August 31, 2008

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I stumbled across a post the other day by Jon Cassady, a blogger whose wife had a miscarriage earlier this year. Cassady describes how he and his wife were crushed by the loss of their baby. Cassady discusses some e-cards for miscarriage that, diplomatically put, he found to be objectionable.

I don't think e-cards for miscarriage are a bad idea, but I can see his point when considering the cards he describes (images are available on Cassady's blog). The cards show images of infants floating in the clouds and grainy ultrasound pictures with well developed infants visible in the picture. The cards also include strange options for music, such as the Muppets theme song, "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Stairway to Heaven." Not even delving into the extreme inappropriateness of those music choices, a lot of women who have had miscarriages don't want to see pictures of babies at all, much less the visual suggestion of their own babies floating around in the clouds instead of in their arms -- and I imagine these cards could be quite hurtful even though the sender might have no idea. It was obviously a good idea gone terribly wrong.

If you have a friend or relative who has miscarried or lost a baby and you want to send a note that the person is in your thoughts, it is probably best to just stick with flowers or a generic "thinking of you" type card that does not refer to babies and pregnancy at all. And here are some gift ideas if you want to do more than just send a card.

And if you yourself have had a miscarriage, come to the forum and share what your friends and relatives did to help you through the loss. Perhaps the thread can provide some better suggestions for individuals who might be at a loss for how to comfort their loved ones.

February 21, 2009 at 7:20 am
(1) Cath Lawson says:

I have just had a miscarriage and I would find it painful to receive those type of cards.

I would add to be careful of what you send in any email to a friend who has just miscarried. When it happened to me, I sent a basic email to 3 friends letting them know basically what happened.

One of those friends had a baby a few months ago. She’d taken a year or two to get pregant and the baby was born healthy.

She sent me an email which began with how she couldn’t call me to discuss my pregancy after all she had gone through. The rest of the email went on about what a hard time she’d had after a baby had been born etc etc.

I would have felt a whole heap better if she’d not sent it at all – especially the part about – I don’t want to discuss your pregancy with you. The baby is dead – I have no pregnancy to discuss.

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