Friday, December 15, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Reaction to miscarriage sounds like blame

Q: I found out that I miscarried earlier this week at a routine office visit. This was quite a shock because we had two ultrasounds before this showing a strong heartbeat and that the baby was growing correctly. While we hadn't announced publicly, we had told family and close friends.

We now are in the unfortunate process of "un-announcing" and I have found that many of our family and friends are trying to figure out why this happened. When we explain that it was most likely chromosome abnormalities and things we had no control over, which is what our doctors said, people find it hard to believe and start suggesting things we (or specifically I) did — my weight, my exercise, my autoimmune diseases.

Do you have any suggestions on what to say to let them know that this is off the table, that it was not my fault, and blaming me is absolutely not productive?

Un-Announcing Pregnancy

Q: They're dealing with your grief by blaming you?

People, please — don't do this.

I realize not everyone is informed on miscarriage rates and causes because the lucky ones have no reason to get informed — but when they allow their ignorance to hurt someone, then it does reflect poorly on them, even when it's intended as a show of concern.

So here's one thing to say: "Miscarriage happens in 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies, and usually is not related to the parents' health."

You can also say, "This is not open for discussion. It was not my fault, and blaming me is absolutely not productive," but this elaboration might open you to a response of, "Oh we weren't blaming you blah blah blah," which you also don't need.

Either way, you can bow out of these theory-fests. "Excuse me — this is painful to talk about. (Exit room.)"

Do not, do not, do not try to explain.

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