It is arguably one of the hardest things to face – losing a child.
However, it happens more often than most people think.
The loss of a baby can take many excruciating forms – miscarriages, stillbirths, and ectopic pregnancies, to name a few.
One in four couples expect to lose a baby to a miscarriage – 23 weeks ago, according to the Tommy’s charity.
And for some women, life can be even more cruel as one in 100 suffers repeated miscarriages, defined as three consecutive miscarriages.
Ectopic pregnancies – in which an embryo implants outside the uterus – occurs in about 11 out of 1,000 pregnancies.
And one in 225 pregnancies ends in stillbirth – that’s nine stillborn babies born every day in the UK.
Hidden behind these statistics is unpredictable heartache and trauma.
For many who miscarry before the 12 weeks are up, it can be trauma that they quietly process without sharing their news with family and friends.
Yet for those who share their tragic loss, it can be difficult to face the benevolent reactions of loved ones.
The depth of loss is hard to understand unless you’ve experienced baby loss yourself, warns Dr. Pam Spurr, a self-help specialist.
“Unfortunately, many who have not been touched by such a tragedy can be tactless,” she told The Sun.
“Or worse, they can make extremely hurtful remarks that make the existing trauma even more painful.”
On the occasion of the week to raise awareness of baby loss, Dr. Pam compiled a number of things not to say to loved ones who have lost their babies – and tips that can help.
She added, “There are things you can do to support you and believe me, parents who have lost babies need your support.”
Here Dr. Pam the seven things not to say …
Do not you understand? You just lost your baby.
They want – and must – mourn this baby. They don’t want to think about the future, they are in too much pain right now.
And they want you to know that their baby has been counted.
Often times, when a woman miscarries early in her pregnancy, she can be faced with the answer that it wasn’t a real baby because she lost it so quickly.
No it was her baby.
It was your hopes and dreams of a happy pregnancy and the birth of a child that you have just warded off with a few cruel words.
Is there really some mystical reason out there in the universe that means your baby didn’t count?
Such platitudes are enormously harmful.
Yes, she got pregnant. And yes, some people don’t even get that far.