Pregnancy & Infant Loss: The Ultimate Dos and Don’ts

Pregnancy and infant loss are devastating experiences that unfortunately affect many families. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating the complex emotions that come with this type of loss, there are some general guidelines that can help both those who have experienced the loss and those who want to support them.

Dos:

1. Do acknowledge the loss: Many people feel uncomfortable talking about pregnancy and infant loss, but it’s important to acknowledge the loss and express your condolences to the family. Ignoring the loss can make the grieving process even harder for the family.

2. Do offer practical support: Families going through pregnancy and infant loss will likely need practical support, such as help with household chores, meals, and childcare for other children. Offering to run errands, cook meals, or take care of everyday tasks can be a huge help.

3. Do listen: Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone going through pregnancy and infant loss is simply listen. Let them talk about their feelings and experiences, and offer a listening ear without judgment.

4. Do share resources: Families going through pregnancy and infant loss may not know where to turn for support or resources. Sharing information about support groups, counseling services, and other resources can be incredibly helpful.

Don’ts:

1. Don’t offer unsolicited advice: Pregnancy and infant loss can be an extremely personal and sensitive experience, and offering unsolicited advice can often do more harm than good. Instead of offering advice, simply offer your support and a listening ear.

2. Don’t minimize the loss: It can be tempting to try to offer comfort by saying things like “at least you can try again” or “it’s for the best,” but these types of statements can minimize the magnitude of the loss and can be hurtful to the family.

3. Don’t avoid the topic: Many people feel uncomfortable talking about pregnancy and infant loss and may avoid the topic altogether. However, this can leave families feeling isolated and unsupported. It’s important to acknowledge the loss and offer your support.

4. Don’t forget to check in: Grief doesn’t just go away after a few days or weeks. It’s important to continue to check in with the family and offer your support and love as they navigate their grief.

In summary, navigating pregnancy and infant loss can be extremely difficult, both for those who have experienced the loss and for those who want to support them. By following these dos and don’ts, you can offer meaningful support to families during this challenging time. Remember that everyone’s experience with grief is different, so it’s important to be patient and compassionate as they navigate their own unique journey of healing.