What you should never say after your wife suffers miscarriage
Experts suggest ways for partners to bring joy back in life after a pregnancy loss. Read on to know how.
In January this year, Delhi-based graphic designer Dipna Mittal went through an unfortunate episode. After trying for almost a year, the Mittal’s were able to conceive. But as luck would have it, Dipna lost the baby during the second trimester. “To say that it was a difficult time would be an understatement. I was broken and my family was desperately trying to cheer me up. But the only person who didn’t look back and only thought positively to make me see the silver lining was Rajat, my husband,” says Dipna calmly as she holds her husband’s hand while narrating her story.
“What happened is in the past. My wife is more important than a child who was perhaps not destined to come into this world,” says Rajat. The Mittal’s have been asked to try again after August. “As long as Rajat is holding my hand, I know am fine,” says Dipna.
After wife suffers miscarriage, a silent grief is triggered, as a lady loses a child prematurely. Nadi Jalali, a grief counsellor in Mumbai, says, “It’s practically impossible to comprehend the emotional pain that sparks up through this trauma. Women need their partners’ support at this crucial juncture, for it’s not only reassuring but brings in more confidence as they slowly shift into trying once more to have a baby. One cannot rush another through the grieving process, but spending more time and being sensitive to her needs will help facilitate healing and positivity.”
Spousal support can slowly wean the woman back into her former self
If your wife suffers miscarriage, experts advise that partners should make efforts for early intervention for these emotional disturbances lest they become unmanageable and more severe in nature. Dr Priyanka Mehta, gynaecologist at ePsyClinic.com, says, “After the miscarriage, partners may be left to deal with all the practical issues: Things like passing on the bad news to others, looking after the house and caring for any other children. Some partners find it helpful to focus on practical matters. But it can add to your stress.” She adds that in such a case, it makes sense to accept offers of help.
“The aim is to bring the joy back in life. Whatever it was that cheered your partner before the experience, is the track you need to take to wean her back into her life. Healing does not mean forgetting, it means accepting and being able to move on. By taking note of the above advise and practicing them, the partner will see the couple slowly shifting into a more cheerful lighthearted space. There is no quick fix, just take it one day at a time,” says Jalali.
Continue reading to know about the do’s and don’ts of spousal support after wife suffers miscarriage.
Dos and don’ts of spousal support during a miscarriage
Experts suggest the following 7 do’s and don’ts, especially for the partner, in case of a miscarriage.
- Spend more time with her; in this togetherness, she will slowly wean back into her former routine.
- Listen to her woes. Let her know that you are there, even if she cries and sounds repetitive. Communicating, talking and listening to each other can help you to understand each other’s feelings and come to terms with your loss.
- Some partners are happy to play a strong, silent and supportive role after miscarriage by comforting their partners, shielding them from responsibility and protecting them from visitors and phone calls.
- Help her with her daily chores, for she could be feeling emotionally numb and hence slowing down her day.
- Make sure you keeping an eye on all of her commitments; whether at work, home, parents, children and staff.
- Encourage her gently as she starts surfacing, for everyone grieves differently and you never know what it will be like, until the experience is a reality.
- Help each other in coping and getting to know what the other one feels. Listen to what your partner has to say. Some women want to talk about their experiences. Others find this too painful. Each woman needs time to grieve. Talking about how she feels with the doctor or counsellor can definitely help and should be encouraged.
- Don’t expect sympathy from your partner, for her pain presently is much more than yours. It’s a physical and emotional loss she is dealing with. Hence, don’t express your sadness in contrast to hers. Just be there for her.
- Don’t try and sermonise and rationalise, it makes it sound all so worse, as if to say ‘the baby didn’t deserve it’ – deepening her emptiness.
- Do not be impatient. Many women who have miscarried find it helpful to talk through what happened over and over again.
- Don’t keep talking and acting as if nothing happened with hopes of trying to help her cope with. It doesn’t work that way, she needs to go through the grief and move through all the stages – especially after such a heartache, which at times can manifest with symptoms as strong as a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Don’t try and suppress her crying and talking about the experience for crying and expressing aids in healing.
- Don’t feel guilty. These emotions are common in both partners and will pass with time and good support. Women may experience feelings of guilt, blaming themselves for what they did or did not do.
- Don’t avoid getting help by meeting a counsellor early if things are not settling. Some women find it hard to move on without knowing the exact cause of their miscarriage. Seek professional help if you notice that she is struggling or showing no improvement, seek counselling or medical advice at the earliest.
Losing a pregnancy is a deep personal experience that affects everyone differently. Some women take longer to cope, while others may recover faster with greater spousal support. Jalali says that the partner must show genuine togetherness, should be sincere and sensitive to all the problems of the woman and must keep the path open for communication. “The partner must also be patient and understanding and make sure they observe emotional progress,” says Jalali.
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