Research Study on Pregnancy Loss

The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is conducting a study on pregnancy loss.

See our site for more information

Build Support

As you work through your miscarriage experience, it will be helpful to reach out to others for support. The importance of telling your story to another person and receiving his or her support as you explore your emotions and grieve your losses cannot be overestimated.

Step 1:

In the space provided, you can write the names of the people you’re considering to be a part of your support system. This list can be revised later.

Step 2:

After you've listed some potential support members, here are some questions you can ask yourself to reflect on each individual and their ability to support you.

Is this person a good listener?

Does this person automatically offer his or her opinion or advice?

Does this person always seem busy or have a busy schedule?

A member of your support system should have the ability to listen well, ask questions if clarification is needed, and care for your overall well-being. Consider whether or not you’ve had difficulty with this person being a good listener in the past.

Will this person be honest with you if he or she doesn’t have the resources to be the support you need?

Will this person support you in finding other resources, such as support groups or professional resources, if he or she thinks this is in your best interest?

Sometimes a member of your support system may be aware that he or she is not equipped to adequately support you. This person needs to have honest and open communication skills and be willing to admit his or her limitations in helping you find the support you need.

Has this person experienced a miscarriage in the past?

Keep in mind that some family members or friends may also be experiencing troubling emotions about the miscarriage and may have unresolved feelings about a past miscarriage. Until you’ve both dealt with the emotions and losses related to the miscarriage(s), it may be best to seek someone else to be a part of your support system.

Does this person have strong beliefs that may impact the way they think about miscarriage?

Will this person try to minimize the loss or suggest it is insignificant in any way?

A person’s beliefs neither qualify nor disqualify him or her from being a part of your support system. However, it’s important to consider whether a person will be able to look beyond his or her beliefs to respect your feelings and support you throughout your healing journey.

Will this person protect my confidentiality?

Has this person ever shared confidential information that I’ve told him or her in the past?

If this person has shared other confidential information, it may be best to seek out a person who has shown that he or she can be trusted with personal information.

Step 3:

After reviewing the questions above, you may want to remove some people from the list, and you may want to add others. As a concrete step, you may want to contact at least one person from your list today. This step will take some courage, but you can do it. You are not alone in your miscarriage healing journey.

Possible Reactions from Family Members or Friends

Keep in mind that when you reveal a miscarriage, a person's initial reaction may not be what you'd hoped.

If the pregnancy and/or miscarriage was a secret, then the person may be shocked, hurt, or even upset.

If the person knew about the miscarriage, then he or she may be surprised to learn it's still affecting you.

Don't take their reaction - or lack of reaction - personally.

Because miscarriage is rarely talked about, it's normal for people to be confused about what to do or say. However, in most cases the person will overcome their initial awkwardness and support you throughout your journey.

You can help the members of your support system overcome their discomfort, by sharing some specific ways they can help you. If this subject is new to them, you may also want to refer them to this website.

In those cases where a person isn't able to offer you the support you need, don't give up! You may want to approach another family member or friend on your list; or you may choose to seek support and counsel from a spiritual counselor, a trained peer counselor, or a professional therapist instead.