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GOOD TO KNOW

How can I ease her pain?

Helping your daughter through miscarriage

T

he announcement that a new grandchild is on the way can be one of life’s most exciting moments, but the sad reality is that every year in Australia, one in four of these pregnancies (103,000) will end in miscarriage, leaving parents and grandparents devastated. “The bereaved often need to lean on the support of their loved ones, but this can be difficult to give readily if you don’t know how to act or what to say,” says Lyndy Bowden, chairperson of Sands Australia, a support service for those dealing with pregnancy loss. But you can navigate this painful process and provide needed support.

Lyndy Bowden Chairperson, Sands Australia

Dr Lissa Johnson Psychologist

b Address their grief

The most important thing you can do is to let your daughter know you’re there for her and acknowledge that the loss and grief she’s feeling is real, says

psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson. “It’s natural for us to want our children’s pain to ‘go away’, but rather than finding solutions or trying to alleviate their grief, be ready to give your child the time and space to grieve in their own way. When they want to talk, talk. If they want to sit in silence or cry or get on with things as normal, take their lead.” Lyndy recommends reading up on miscarriage and grief, listening without expressing judgement or offering advice. “You need to remember that the baby is a life, one your daughter had already

Dos and don’ts Knowing what to say after the loss of a baby is difficult. Lyndy offers her tips DON’T SAY… ✘ “Something was wrong with the baby.” This may cause added stress in future pregnancies. ✘ “You’re still young, you can have another.” Babies are not replaceable, this baby was a loved and wanted. ✘ “Thank goodness you weren’t further along.” Why? Grief is grief. 36

✘ “You shouldn’t have worked, you overdid things.” Your daughter will already be blaming herself and it’s generally unknown why miscarriages occur. ✘ “You’ll get over it.” No, your daughter will not get over it, she’ll get through it. ✘ “I know how you feel.” Even if you have also had a baby who died, your daughter’s grief is unique.

DO SAY… ✔ “I know there’s nothing I can do to fix this, but if you just want someone to talk to, I’m here whenever you need.” ✔ “It’s not your fault.” ✔ “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.” ✔ “I know how much you wanted this baby.”

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What to do when your child’s pregnancy ends tragically

Yours Issue#18 , 2015  

Yours is Australia’s fortnightly magazine for women. Packed full with inspiring real-life reads, heartfelt celebrity interviews, the latest...

Yours Issue#18 , 2015  

Yours is Australia’s fortnightly magazine for women. Packed full with inspiring real-life reads, heartfelt celebrity interviews, the latest...

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