17 Women Who Have Experienced Pregnancy Loss Share What They Would Tell Someone Else Going Through The Same Thing

Ad failed to load

When you experience pregnancy loss and learn what having a miscarriage feels like, you get automatic membership to one of the crappiest clubs in the world. Initiation is potentially one of the worst things you will ever go through and, what's more, you were probably hoping to get into another, way different club. Here's what makes all this even worse: the club is huge and there are actually a ton of benefits you could get from talking to other members. But unfortunately there's enormous external pressure to keep this club a secret. So a lot of the time you don't even know who the other members even are. The first rule of Miscarriage Club is you do. not. talk about your miscarriage. Why? Well, it makes other people uncomfortable. So every day, everywhere, 10-25% of women who were pregnant but did not carry to term are pressured to keep any feelings or information on the matter to themselves, lest discussing their experience make someone else feel unsure of what to do for the duration of their interaction.

When I had my miscarriage, I expected I would feel sadness and maybe some anger in the coming days and weeks. While I didn't know the precise way those feelings would manifest, I was right. What I did not expect was that the feelings that would dominate most of my experience were shame and embarrassment. I felt deeply, deeply ashamed that my body "didn't do what it was supposed to do" and I felt embarrassed not only by that, but that I felt any of the emotions I experienced as deeply as I did. Because I knew that miscarriage was tremendously common, and I knew that there was nothing wrong with me or my body, and that even if there had been something wrong with my body, that didn't mean there was anything wrong with me as a woman and a human. But the fact that I felt sad and ashamed anyway made me feel stupid. As you can imagine, all this "head vs. heart" crap made for some pretty terrific downward spirals in the days that followed. Knowing these all the reassuring facts does not replace talking about what you're going through, and I wasn't talking. The unspoken but firm rules that Miscarriage Club was to be kept a secret had ensured that there was no paradigm I knew of to help me begin to talk about it.

But then a magical thing happen: a bunch of the friends I had told, too many of whom had experienced pregnancy loss themselves, reached out to me and asked me how I was doing. They sent fancy chocolates. These small acts of kindness and acknowledgment meant the world to me. Because so much of my sorrow was stemming from the idea that I was the only one this mattered to. That I was a stupid, lonely failure. But hearing from other women assured me that my feelings were not only valid, but totally normal. These ladies inspired me to never be quiet about my miscarriage again, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. Because I would rather let someone be uncomfortable than leave someone else in such a dark, lonely place when all she needed to hear was that someone else knew what she was going through.

Ad failed to load

In the spirit of talking about pregnancy loss, I reached out to some of my fellow members of Miscarriage Club, many of whom include women who helped me make sense of my own experience three years ago, and asked them what they would want to share with someone experiencing miscarriage. Their answers fell into nine basic categories.

Ad failed to load

You're Not Alone


"Even though it can feel isolating because it seems like no one talks about it, you are not alone... So while it sucks that anyone has gone through this, the good news is there is a community of support out there made up of others who have experienced pregnancy loss/miscarriage, and it can be really helpful and therapeutic to talk to others who have been or are in the same boat. I was so afraid to talk about my miscarriage when it happened, but when I did tell people, I was surprised at how often their reaction was, 'Oh, I had a miscarriage, too...'" -Dawn

"Find people who have gone through the same thing and let them support you." - Anne

Everyone Mourns Differently


"One thing that was hard for me as I would seek out miscarriage resources online was all of the people mourning their early losses as babies. People had named them, they talked about their baby "dying at x weeks" meaning they had miscarried at that many weeks. Which is fine. But for me, my first trimester miscarriages, while devastating, especially after infertility, were not the same as losing a late or full-term baby. I mourned the loss of the child I thought I'd have and the life I could have had with that potential child, but it was different [than losing a baby who had been born]. So it almost made it seem like I couldn't participate in those discussions in fear of people thinking I was minimizing their feelings ... But...you mourn how you mourn. It's completely valid to mourn for what you thought you were going to have even if you feel like you don't have a specific person to mourn for who has died. And it doesn't make your loss any less than someone who feels like they lost a baby." -Analia

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Tears or no tears. Anger or sadness or fear. It's all normal. You are not alone.

- Britt

"I've had two [miscarriages] and the main thing I've learned is that everyone handles them so differently. [After] my first loss, everyone treated me really strangely, like I was so fragile, and it really kind of pissed me off. It wasn't until my cousins took me out for drinks a couple weeks later that I finally started to feel better because they were treating me "normal," not like some broken thing. But after my second loss, some people were acting like it wasn't even really a loss, maybe because I was not very far along at the time of the miscarriage, and that hurt deeply. So the moral of my story is that there is no right way or perfect thing that someone can do, but just to be there and give love, and then you kind of can't go wrong." - Chrissy

Time Is A Funny Thing Sometimes


"Grief comes in waves ... You can think you're fine for days or even weeks and then it hits you like a train and you'll go through every emotion all over again." - Ashley

"The pain eases with time, but it can hit you like a ton of bricks at any time."

- Shasta

Ad failed to load

Don't Minimize Your Grief


"It's OK to feel and mourn each loss, no matter how many days or weeks you were pregnant before the loss. That baby was a piece of you and will be a piece of who you are forever. You don't need to minimize it because you later were fortunate enough to have another baby that did not miscarry or because you have another child already. People always want to say, 'Well, at least you got pregnant again,' or, 'At least you already have one.' Yes, thank goodness. But that doesn't diminish the feelings and dreams and love I had for this one that I lost." - Emily

Sometimes You're Mourning More Than Just This Loss


"Every pregnancy is different and a lost pregnancy has no bearing on future pregnancies. One of the biggest issues I had was I suddenly had fear that I would never carry to term again, that my miscarriage was an indicator that my body couldn't grow another child ... While I was mourning the loss of my baby I was also mourning the hypothetical loss of future babies. It took some time to stop and focus that I did lose a baby and that was awful, but I couldn't dwell on making prophecies about any future pregnancies." - Jessey

"With each miscarriage I've had I not only mourn for the baby I lost but previous I lost as well." -Shasta

Take Care Of Yourself

I found it very healing to talk openly about it, not just to friends but even my colleagues, boss, etc., and be very clear about what I was going through and what kind of support I needed. I think this helped a lot because many people don't know how to give support although they would like to (and I needed it).

- Courtney

"Don't be afraid to ask your doctor if it is normal, particularly if you have a long-term condition, that miscarriage may tell you that something isn't being controlled properly. Just as much as miscarriages might be a fluke, they can be signs that something is wrong." - Helen

Ad failed to load

Countless Emotions, All Of Them Normal And Valid


"It's OK to feel anger, jealousy, frustration, fear, sadness, etc. It's a loss and you can grieve. Don't feel like you have to be strong through or after it." - Magdalena

"It's OK to be mad. I remember feeling so angry at the world but trying to hide it."

- Melissa F.

It's Not Your Fault


"And it's not your fault... Try not to spend time overanalyzing what you did or didn't do. It's not you." -Dawn

"It's not your fault and it's normal to grieve this baby. Both of those things were important and helpful for me to hear." - Amanda



"Talk about it! Share your journey and your story. It helps others and it brings some peace that you don't have to internalize everything and carry the weight yourself." - Emily

"[Miscarriage] is not something that should be taboo. We need to support each other." - Helen

"Don't be afraid to tell people. Feeling the need to hide it made me feel shameful and angry." - Melissa M.

It helped me tremendously to talk about it because it did happen and it does matter.

- Ashley

"The culture of silence about pregnancy in early stages needs to change. The expectation that women don't tell people they are pregnant only hurts the way we can deal with a loss after it happens. It encourages grieving quietly." - Kristy

Images: Giphy (8); Tumblr

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

The Most Successful Baby Names, According to Science

Parents have a million factors to consider when they're choosing a baby name: Does it flow with the family surname? Will kids at school turn it into a mean rhyme? Did you once have an arch enemy with the same name? One thing you might not consider is…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

9 Things Your Baby Can Tell You About Your Marriage

Baby's can't do all that much, if we're being honest. Like, I don't want to be mean, but they're terrifically inept at just about everything. My kids needed help pooping when they were newborns. Pooping. I literally had to fold them in half to get th…
By Jamie Kenney

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills