How To Support Someone Who Has Lost A Baby
I’ve gotten this question a couple times when I reach out on Instagram for parenting/baby topics, and although I haven’t personally lost a baby, I do know many people who have. Several of those people happen to be part of the blogging/social media community and have been comfortable enough to share their experiences, but I also know that that means there are many more who haven’t. Thankfully, in addition to sharing their experiences, they’ve also taken the extra step of discussing how to support someone who has lost a baby. A lot of it comes from trying to discuss the topic more, but I’m also sure that it’s a result of people not knowing the best way to show up (or doing it poorly) and these people trying to tell you how. So let’s listen.
As with any difficult situation, one of the best things you can do is listen to the experiences and words of those who have been there. Who have lived it. I’ve given a couple examples of direct advice and also some links to simply learn. When we are faced with something uncomfortable or foreign to us, it’s important that we learn about that thing in order to understand and also develop empathy. There are tons of articles and suggestions about this topic if you search online, but I wanted to include those that come directly from someone who has had experience in one way or another. I hope they help.
What To Do When Your Friend Loses A Baby: Lindsay, who runs the popular food blog “Pinch of Yum,” unexpectedly went into labor at 24 weeks and lost her baby boy, Afton. She was one of the first people who gave me a glimpse into her grief and really taught me a lot about a subject not often discussed. Her writing is so powerful and after his passing, she wrote a seven-part account of what happened on her personal Instagram account. This happened four years ago, yet it still stands out to me as one of the most helpful and painful things to read. Her blog post (linked above) is extremely helpful in learning what to say and do and I highly recommend it.
What To Say To Someone Who’s Grieving: this is a more generic post about grief that I wrote after getting my placenta previa and accreta diagnoses. I received a lot of support, but also heard a lot of things that weren’t helpful at all, so I felt that I needed to give people a better idea of what was helpful to me during that time.
Emily Richter on Instagram: Emily had to make the extremely difficult decision to end her pregnancy in the second trimester after she discovered that her baby wouldn’t be viable outside the womb. The following post shares things you should (and should not) say to someone after the loss of a baby. Her account also has many great reflections on her journey as she prepares to welcome a new baby in the coming weeks, so you should give her a follow.
My Experience With An Ectopic Pregnancy: my friend Davida experienced an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in the need to remove one of her fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are somewhat rare, so this is a great post to educate yourself and read about her experience, including the physical and emotional recovery (which undoubtedly is still ongoing). Not too long ago, she also suffered a miscarriage, which she writes about on this Instagram post.
Miscarriages: Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers has three beautiful boys, and between those boys she also experienced three miscarriages. She wrote several posts about them and has brought them together on one page for you to read, which you can get to by clicking the link above.
Do you have any suggestions on how to support someone who has lost a baby? If so, please let me (and us) know in the comments below.