I’m Pregnant & My Friend Is Not Anymore

I'm Pregnant & My Friend Is Not Anymore

A difficult part of the grief left over after a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss is that there are triggers in every day life that you can not avoid so easily. One of the biggest, and hardest to avoid triggers is seeing and being around other pregnant women. While you’ve lost your baby, they are still keeping their baby safe in their body — it can be hard for even the best of friends to navigate.

If your friend lost their baby during pregnancy or shortly after, there are some things you should know because it can be a confusing, hurtful time for both of you.

Talk to your friend

Don’t just assume that being around you is going to be hard for them.  Don’t pull back from them without speaking to them first.  They need your support & if you just assume that could be seen as something else.  Talk to your friend about what they are feeling. Acknowledge that you feel this might be hard for them and open up the communication.

Acknowledge Their Loss

When you get together remember this is a two way relationship. Feel free to talk about your pregnancy but also make sure you give your friend the time and space to talk about their pregnancy, their child.  Don’t be afraid about ‘making them cry’.  If they don’t want to talk about their grief let them have that too.

Don’t Take It Personally

What your friend is going through can be very confusing.  They are trying to navigate the conflicting emotions that come with grieving their loss and being happy for your pregnancy. It is confusing.  If they withdraw ask them what you can do to help.  If they say they need space try not to take that personally.  Triggers are difficult but do check in once in a while with a phone call or email.

Photo credit: adapted from pfarrell95 | Flickr

What worked or didn’t work for you?

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Devan McGuinness

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

2 Comments
  1. I very much second the “talk to them” piece of advice. My coworker was 18 weeks pregnant when I miscarried (at 12 weeks). Since only one other person in our office knew (about my pregnancy/miscarriage) there was still a lot of baby talk going on about her pregnancy. She came and spoke to me privately to apologize, not for being pregnant, but for all of the talk and to see how I was doing. She was very open and basically said “look, if you don’t want to hear about anything relating to my pregnancy that’s totally fine and I’ll even help change the topic.” A lot of what mattered was the open acknowledgment of my feelings and the fact that this is a hard time.
    I had a friend who had just given birth before I miscarried. Once again, the part that was important was the acknowledgment of feelings – that this was hard.

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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.