One in six, that is how many known pregnancies will end in a miscarriage according to the NHS. Put another way, it means that one in three women will suffer a miscarriage at some point in their life. One friend who recently suffered early pregnancy loss after years of not getting pregnant said that the fact it is so common yet such an unspoken thing makes it all the worse.
In her words “When we learn about pregnancy it is all about how easy it is to get pregnant as a teenager, we learn nothing about the fact that:
- You might not be able to get pregnant and
- That when you do there is horribly high chance that you will lose the pregnancy”
And it is sadly true. While many people choose not to tell the world that they are pregnant until they are past the 3 month stage as it is believed that the chance of miscarriage is slim after this point miscarriages after the 1st trimester can still happen. No matter when a miscarriage happens it can be devastating for those involved and when it is a close friend going through it, it can be hard to know what you can do to support them, especially if you already have children or are pregnant yourself.
Taking it slow can be the best approach to have, let your friend choose what and when they want to talk about it and please don’t take it personally if they seem hesitant to be around you or your children. If you had babysitting or trips to child friendly locations or shopping trips planned be considerate to the fact that they may not want to do these tasks, I am in no way suggesting that you immediately remove everything child related from their calendar, just that you be aware and sensitive to how those situations may make them feel.
Another sore point with miscarriage is the fact that while many people are initially sympathetic and understand the hurt the person may be feeling it can be easy for others to expect the person to have simply moved on from it within a couple of weeks of the event itself. The truth is that, that first positive pregnancy test almost immediately rolled out a whole life time; 1st ultrasound, 1st time the baby kicks, the birth, your first mothers day as a mother, so many milestones that are not to be… It is heartbreaking. If you friend has a miscarriage, be kind.