Helping in a devastating miscarriage event and gift suggestions
How can I show my support?
When someone close to you loses a baby during pregnancy, if the baby is stillborn, or dies shortly after birth, it is difficult to know what to say or do. Friends and family often worry that giving a gift to a loved one after losing a baby, may cause the mother to re-live her pain and grief over and over again.
This is actually quite far from the truth! By empathising with her loss, you are giving her the gift of your love and compassion. She will know that you recognise her as a mother who has lost a child, and although she may shed a few tears, will honour and value your support.
You may be a little unsure how to handle situations like these, and if you want to show your kindness by giving a gift, you might also be uncertain as to what would be suitable. Among other things such as baskets, flowers, and inspiring books, there are various types of miscarriage and pregnancy-loss jewellery items available. Listed here are some the most popular:
- For a mother who does not want to draw attention to, or want too many questions about her loss, a discreet necklace would be ideal. A popular choice is the forget-me-not flower as a reminder of the life she lost.
- A mother who is less private about her feeling might appreciate a pendant fashioned into 2 tiny baby feet that she can wear close to her heart as a lasting memory.
- For a baby who has been lost due to stillbirth, or shortly after birth, this gift is also most suitable, as ink footprints taken in the hospital, can be etched exactly onto a pendant.
- A bracelet or necklace with a semi-precious stone significant to the date of the loss of the baby, is also very moving and memorable.
Something for the father
Fathers also grieve. Men are generally much more private with their grief, and with so much focus on the mother, people tend to forget that the father might also be in need of comforting, as he will be feeling the loss just as deeply.
An excellent gift for a father with be a similar set of 2 tiny baby feet which can be fashioned into a key ring that he can carry with him always.
Another kind of gift.
For someone you do not have a close relationship with, but nevertheless want to show support, a gift basket or cheerful flowers is an excellent choice. But for a close friend or family member, possibly the best gift you can give is your time.
Here are some ways you can show your support by sharing your time.
- Women who have had a miscarriage often find it difficult to stick to their daily routines, especially when it comes to feeding the family, or even themselves. Making yourself available to bring cooked meals to the home will be much appreciated.
- Little things count, like walking the dog or loading the dishwasher. Laundry can also pile up quickly, so taking laundry to the laundromat, or putting a load in the washing machine, will be a big help.
- A bit of vacuuming, dusting and sprucing up the bathroom and kitchen will not go amiss. If the mother is feeling depressed and down, a clean house can always make her feel better, just knowing that things are in hand.
- Going to the supermarket to stock up on necessary supplies is another option while mom is recovering, and not yet ready to face the world.
- You could also offer to pick kiddies from school if dad is not available to do it.
Just be there.
Any help to lighten the load will gratefully appreciated, and in the midst of feelings of loss, confusion and sadness, the kindness of friends and family will help to get your friend through many of the difficult days.
When the days are dark, it is comforting to know that we are not alone. For the grieving mom, it is as if she is the only one who has suffered such a loss. If you have suffered from a similar loss, share it with her, so she can know that you really do understand how she feels. It might be that your friend just wants to unburden her feelings, and all you have to do then is listen.
Talking and sharing what she has gone through will be very therapeutic for a mom who has suffered a traumatic loss of a child. Some women who lose a baby through miscarriage, elective termination, stillbirth or childbirth, are able to move through the loss more freely than others. While for others, relationships with a spouse, partner, friends or family, may be negatively impacted by the feelings of despair and emptiness.
Grief is a process of conflicting emotions such as anger, denial, depression, even guilt – and then only acceptance. The pain stays, although it may lessen with time. Just speak to an 80 year old has lost a child!
Support from family and friends is so vitally important in the healing process. And appropriate support can help to restore relationships, which may have been put in isolation for a while.
So if you have a friend or family member who is grieving for a lost child, continue to show kindness and support, be it in the form of a thoughtful gift or the sharing of your time. And if you have not had a similar experience which you could share, try and bring the gift of others you know who have been through the same thing, to offer hope and strength as your friend continues to heal.
Regaining a sense of self-esteem and hope is a true healing balm after such a traumatic loss.