Helping a friend overcome miscarriage

Friends can be most helpful at a time like this. You don't have to say anything. Just be there, willing to listen. Many women need to talk over and over about their experience of miscarriage and fear that people will tire of the repetition.

Let your concern be genuine. Don't be afraid to openly talk about the baby and the parents feelings of loss.

Be there for the mother and for the father also. He may seem to be preoccupied with his partners health but remember that he has lost his baby too.

Allow them to express their feelings even if you differ from their opinions.

Allow them to talk about the baby they have lost as often as they need to. The loss of their baby needs to be acknowledged. Try to remember that their future has been altered and this can be very difficult to come to terms with.

Offer to help out with the shopping etc. without taking over. Practical help can be badly needed.

Give more attention to other children who may be in the family. Time alone for the couple can be precious.

Do not avoid the couple because you are uncomfortable. Try be in tune with their needs, be it for silence or talk.

Stick with the conversation. Don’t change it. You have no idea how they feel unless you have experienced a similar loss.

Never say "You can try for another child" or "You’re young yet, you have plenty of time". Assuming they can have another child, it could never replace the baby they have just lost.

You may think how lucky they are to have other children – keep it to yourself. Children are not interchangeable.

Do not rush "the back to normal" routine. Very often its months later when the couple reaches rock bottom. When most people think they should be well on the road to recovery its often the worst time for them and a time when they need most support.

As with any form of bereavement there is no time limit on the grieving process and recovery.