How to Help Your Wife/Partner Through Perinatal Loss & Grief

How to Help Your Wife/Partner Through Perinatal Loss & GriefWhen we hear that someone had a miscarriage, stillbirth or a neonatal death of a child, we want to help them, but unless we’ve been through it ourselves, we can seem paralyzed with not knowing what to do to help.

When it’s your wife or partner who is going through the physical loss, there can feel a lot more pressure to take care of them — to be strong for them which can put a lot of pressure or strain to always “do the right thing” for her. There are some ways you can help your wife/partner through loss:

Don’t Diminish Their Feelings

Losing an early pregnancy or going through the emotions of a late miscarriage will feel physically different to her than it does to you. Her body is dropping hormones at a rapid pace and she may be struggling with guilt that is often felt by those going through perinatal grief. Don’t tell her she shouldn’t be so upset, she should get over it or that “it’s okay, we can have another baby.” The best thing  you can do is hold her, listen to her and tell her it wasn’t her fault.

Don’t Place Your Timeline on Her Grief

Everyone has their own timeline for their grief so don’t try to rush your wife/partner through it. It’s normal for you to not “feel it” as much as she may, but her feelings are also normal too.

Share Your Feelings

A big man-myth is when something bad happens, you need to “be strong” for those around you. When it comes to the death of your child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, sharing your feelings is important. Showing your wife/partner that she is not alone, sharing that you’re grieving as well is important. Keep the communication open and don’t be afraid to “bring it up” with her if you want to talk.

Take Care of You Too

It’s important to allow yourself to grieve as well. It’s healthy for your well-being, your wife/partner’s well-being and your relationship. Seek counseling on your own or as a couple and make sure you watch for your own signs of depression vs grief.  Trust me, taking the time to work through your grief early instead of just “pushing past it” will help you all in the long-run.

Also read: What did you find most helpful that your husband/partner did after your loss?

Share in the comments: How did you help your wife/partner through loss? What did your husband/partner do for you that helped?

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Devan McGuinness

is the founder and executive director of the award-winning resource Unspoken Grief .

2 Comments
  1. The share the grief part is spot on. This issue caused many arguments between my husband and me during the first year of grieving our twins, lost at 14w2d. It’s been 17 months this weekend, and my husband still rarely shares. Consequently, he’s light years behind me in processing his grief, too, which is sad.

  2. This is a wonderful post and my heart goes out anyone who has lost a child in any capacity. My best friend and my sister-in-law each have miscarried multiple times and my heart breaks for them because all they’ve ever wanted was to have a baby and be mothers. Each time it happened, I always fought to find the words to comfort them, until one of my friends told me about a book to get them. It’s called “There Was Supposed To Be a Baby” by Catherine Keating, you can check her and the book on the website http://therewassupposedtobe.com/. I’ve given this book to each of them as a gift and both have said what a wonderful book and comfort it was to them. Thank you for this post, and may anyone who has lost, find peace!

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About Unspoken Grief

Unspoken Grief is a non-profit website dedicated to creating awareness and resources for anyone touched directly or indirectly by miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

©Unspoken Grief 2017; Devan McGuinness

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Unspoken Grief exists to provide peer-to-peer support and resources. The information on this site is intended only for advocacy and educational purposes. It's not intended to give medical advice, to diagnose or to offer treatment for any medical or psychological conditions. Please consult your own health care provider for your own specific situation and needs.