The Do's and Don'ts of supporting family, friends, and the community who experienced pregnancy & infant loss.
Reach out and acknowledge the loss
Be genuine and caring
Allow them to express their feelings without passing judgment
Refer to the baby by name, if they do
Include them in community events; invite them for meals and social gatherings
Understand if they don’t come to events or leave early
If they react negatively, remember they are reacting to the situation—not to you
Respect they might not answer calls or texts
Reach out after time passes and at significant milestones/anniversaries
Take cues from the family:
Visitors vs. privacy
Help with other children
Things that can be helpful to say:
It’s good to see you
I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through
I’ve been thinking about you
I’m (going shopping, watching the game, taking a walk, ...) want to come?
Avoid the couple
Change the subject if they want to talk about the baby
Suggest they had bad care, or give legal or medical advice unless they ask
Talk about your or other people’s losses or tragedies
Tell them they should be “over” it
Things not to say: People say these, truly intending to be helpful, but they can be very hurtful:
I know how you feel (no matter how much you think you do)
At least you have other children
You can always have another
At least you really didn’t know your baby
This only happens to people who can handle it
You’ll see the baby when Mashiach comes
It’s a test from God and God only tests people He loves
Be a gentle caring friend. It will be appreciated!
Download the NechamaComfort Dos and Don'ts to share within your community.