Words Woman May Find Hurtful After Miscarriage


This post is not intended to knock people who have said some of these comments, I myself have mistakenly said these to someone, before I had gone through a miscarriage. I have been told each of these statements at some point during my losses and although it can be difficult to know what the right thing to say is and most people genuinely mean well, here is why I find these statements so hurtful:

You can always have another! / You can always try again

Although it is true that many couples struggle with infertility, the end goal of getting pregnant is not the positive pregnancy test but the baby. Merely being able to get pregnant is not a comfort for most women who experience a miscarriage.

Many women can go on to try again after a miscarriage, and indeed many find comfort in that idea after time. However, for someone grieving a loss, one baby does not replace another. Each loss needs to be dealt with individually and the woman needs to think about trying again on her own time when she is ready.

Be grateful for the children you have!

Even if a woman has living children, they do not replace the baby she lost. Grieving does not mean you are ungrateful!

I know what you are going through.

If you have not lost a baby, please do not say this to a mother grieving a miscarriage. Just as with anything else in life, unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you simply do not know how it feels. However, if you have had a miscarriage, it can be reassuring to a woman grieving a miscarriage to hear your story.

It was not a real baby just a fetus

This comment is hurtful on so many levels! It was a baby to the mom – you feel the connection and the physical effects and your body changing from VERY early on.

At least you didn’t know your baby!

Any women, no matter how far along, know their baby and it was very real to her. You mean before it was a real baby and I got attached? Nope, this does not make any difference. It still hurts, like mad. Some of us love our babies from the minute we found out we are pg.

There must have been something wrong / It’s probably for the best

Never speculate that a miscarriage was for the best. Miscarriages happen for many reasons, and you do not know what may or may not have caused this particular loss. The best for whom? Me? The now dead baby? You? The greater good of the nation? This does not make the person feel better.

It wont happen again

Everyone hopes that everything will be fine in the next pregnancy, but sometimes it isn’t. Women who have recurrent miscarriages often remember being reassured by others that everything would be fine next time, and sometimes this makes for an even harder time coping with the second loss.

After so many miscarriages you should be getting used to it

I have had 10 miscarriages and each one was equally painful – no matter how far along I made it to. Each one was a baby and each one was important and wanted!

Be brave, don’t cry/Get on with your life, this isn’t the end of the world!

It is healthy and important to grieve.

I know how you feel

While you may have been through a similar situation, share that but don’t assume you know how they feel. Please also watch what you are comparing their loss to. Don’t say they lost their dog or you had an abortion and know how they feel. While both of those are grief-causing situations, it can be insensitive to compare to a woman mourning the loss of a very wanted pregnancy and baby.

Remember, when a woman is going through a miscarriage, she is mourning over

  • the death of her child the fact that she will not get to hold her child or meet her baby face to face
  • the knowledge that she will not get to watch her child grow up, she will not get to see her child’s personality develop or see her child achieve his/her dreams
  • a sense of failure. I haven’t met a woman yet who’s miscarried and hasn’t wondered if it was somehow her fault. She failed, her body failed, she’s being punished for a past mistake, she shouldn’t have eaten this or drank that – all of these thoughts can easily play through the grieving mommy’s mind.



Photo Credit: adapted Mitya Ku | Flickr

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Devan McGuinness

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

  1. I wish I had accurate words to express how grateful I am to see articles and websites like this. As a mom who has now survived 3 miscarriages I have heard all these hurtful comments. And while I realize no one was intending to be hurtful it still was. i hope we can help spread the knowledge of those 6 simple words

  2. Thank you for your honest and straightforward advise. My best friend just lost her unborn son. I don’t want to trample on her heart by saying something well-meaning but stupid. This is great advise. Again, Thank You!

  3. Amen! Sometimes the best support is from those who have nothing to say at al. Because it defies words. I’m so sorry you’ve survived so much grief. Thank you for using it to help others.

  4. I had a friend tell me, “At least you were only 8 weeks along.” As if that made my baby less precious than one in a subsequent trimester. I agree that those 6 words are precious to a grieving mom. Thank you for your thoughts!

  5. Thank you so much for this. My best friend miscarried and I don’t want to hurt her. I can’t help but think that she isn’t married and maybe this could be a sign but I’m glad I read this before saying anything. I’m just going to say I am sorry and be there for her to talk about it.

  6. I so completely agree. I had a friend who was 20 weeks pregnant when I lost my first at 6 weeks that if she chose to have an amnio and started having problems she would lose a “real” baby. Really? At what point could anyone think that was a good thing to say.

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I completely understand that the careless words of others are generally not intended to cause pain, they are simply from ignorance. So thank you for spreading the word and helping to educate. I remember one woman saying to me, “On the bright side you and your husband can be married longer now.” What? We wanted these babies. Why would being married longer make me glad that my babies (twins) died?

    Thank you again…

  8. A bunch of girls got together for a girls’ night. My “friend” who was 8 weeks along complained endlessly about her morning sickness. I have had two miscarriages, one at 7 weeks and the other at 11 weeks. I empathized with my morning sickness experiences, and she said, “but it’s not like you were really pregnant.” I hope that her comment was motivated by fear of miscarriage personified, but I have not gone out of my way to to see her since. Both pregnancies and their symptoms were very real to me as is the grief I’m still working through as I continue to try again. I know of maybe two or three people who really “get it” and the rest of my support comes from my therapist and sites like this. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not alone even if my experience is taboo.

  9. I was 6 weeks along when my baby died. It took me a while to tell anyone. Well, when i told mom she said ‘well it’s probably for the best’ now from my own mom who has had miscarriages herself, it was pretty hurtful. Amazing how people can say the wrong thing and not even know it!