Other people’s reactions

Many women find other people’s reactions to their miscarriage insensitive and hurtful. People may try to be well-meaning but leave you feeling more alone than ever.

We asked 6000 women about their miscarriage

  • 85% said that they didn’t think people understood what they had gone through
  • 67% felt that they couldn’t talk to their best friend

You’ll see in the video some of the common phrases that people hear after a miscarriage. Although people mean well and want to help, your family and friends’, or colleagues’, reactions may leave you feeling even more upset and isolated.

It can be difficult to understand how it feels to lose a baby if you have never had a miscarriage. People’s reactions tend to be down to lack of understanding. Even if someone has lost a baby in the past, they may have reacted or coped differently.

Lots of couples feel their grief is being brushed aside and their loss not acknowledged by other people. You might find people don’t even mention it at all, perhaps because they’re unsure whether you want them to.

Even when someone tries to reach out to you, you can feel like it isn’t enough.

Try to focus on those who are offering support – surround yourself with people who care and understand. We hope that for every upsetting comment, or reaction, there is also another friend or loved one who is saying the right things and helping you through this difficult time.

It might help to read how other women coped with people’s reactions

“When I told the small group of people I did, they reacted in unexpected ways. My sadness had nothing to do with most of the things they said.”Louise's story. Read more...

“I will never forget how lovely it was when a close family friend sent me flowers after I lost my baby with a card just saying 'I'm so sorry' it also said that she herself had experienced a miscarriage with her first baby and so she knew how devastating it was.” Anonymous

“All the cliches poured out "It's unlucky", "It's just something that happens", "There's nothing you did wrong" blah blah blah... I was so angry I wanted to scream this wasn't 'something that happens'. It was our baby!”Leanne's story. Read more...

“I will try to respond differently in the future when someone shares bad news with me, although this isn’t easy because instinctively we all try to make each other feel better.”Anonymous. Read more...

“The truth is, people don't know what to say - unless they've experienced it themselves. Those that have say things like “there are no words - just know that I'm here.” Perfect. Because there are no words.” Lianne's story. Read more...

Your partner’s reaction

Some women find it hard if their partner reacts differently to the miscarriage. We all cope with grief in our own way – and it can be hard to get to grips with this when you have lost a baby together. Some couples feel the tragedy brings them together, while other might feel it pulls them apart. The most important thing is to be kind to each other, listen and respect each other’s way of coping.

We’ve put together a page looking at your partner’s feelings.

We want you to know you’re not alone. If you need to talk to someone who understands, please call our midwives on 0800 0147 800 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

If you’re not sure how to react to someone’s sad news, get advice onSupporting someone who has had a miscarriage.’

Read stories on miscarriage

Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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