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