The month of October has been dubbed "Miscarriage remembrance month". I don't know who started it, but I think it is nice to have a time to remember our losses as mothers. The day of October 15th is also a special day during this month dedicated to this theme. There's an event at our parish Mater Dei Latin Mass in Irving on October 17th -- a Mass of Rememberance at 7 P.M. If anyone want more information, they can message the parish: https://materdeiparish.com/
What not to say to someone who just miscarried: "You can have another one." That is just plain rude. Respect this mother's loss. The best thing is to give her a hug, tell her "Sorry for your loss, I'll be praying for you or other kind words." Say it from the heart; that's what important.
Sometimes a mother isn't sure if she had a miscarriage or not, but it just felt like that 'cycle' was off and not right or something. Verifying by a test didn't confirm (but some of those tests at the store are not going to show real low doses of Human Growth Hormone anyway). The mother may have just felt more crampy; didn't seem that this was the right "timing" for the cycle, etc. Whatever the symptoms, she can go to her doctor to find out more info. He may or may not be able to confirm the miscarriage, but he can do hormonal tests to see what might be off balance. Both estrogen and progesterone levels need to be right; if something is off balance esp. progesterone a miscarriage can happen because of hormonal imbalances. There are of course many other possible causes. A chromosomal disorder could also cause a miscarriage.
If a mother goes to the doctor, she may hear the terms "spontaneous abortion". This is just another term for miscarriage; not to mean the willful act of killing the fetus at any stage of pregnancy (abortion on demand). Anyway, if the mother was further along in a pregnancy; she may want to make sure that the placenta and any other things were miscarried properly. (also called "products of conception"). If there is retained placenta, then the doctor may want to order a D and C procedure in order to get the placenta out, etc. (Dilation and curettage procedure will clean out the uterus of anything that may remain -- also sometimes done if the baby was confirmed dead and does not miscarry on its own). This procedure can cause pain for the mother and she will need time to recover.
If you hear of a mother having a D & C, offer to help her out for a week doing tasks, or just bringing meals, etc. I am sure she will totally appreciate this help. She may have other children; offer to babysit for a day or something as another option of helping.
Bereavement doulas -- what's that?
A bereavement doula helps mothers during their time of loss esp. helping with emotional and comfort during this time. She will come to the hospital if a hospital procedure (like D & C) is being done. If the mother is having an induction because of stillbirth, the bereavement doula can come in and help the mother during this time just like a regular doula. The only difference is that this doula is trained in bereavement issues and knows how to support this better than a regular doula. We have a resource below on training for bereavement doulas; so you may want to look at that.
Remembering the child or naming the child:
If the baby was an early loss and no "body" to bury, the child can still be remembered by naming the child a special name. This can be a girl or boy name or gender neutral. It doesn't matter. The child is loved.
Burying the baby or stillborn: Check with funeral homes to see if there is discount for stillbirth, etc. Check with your local parishes to see if there is any ministry that helps with parents during this time of loss.
Remember your baby is "in the arms of God" and we should trust God the soul of our beloved babies that have been lost.
Resources for mothers. I am including a short resource list for mothers. You can also learn about the bereavement course that I help work with.
First of all Bereavement book giveaway -- go to www.catholicdoula.com
and enter the giveaway on front page (second tab) fill out form. Catholic Doula is giving away "Anchored", "Empty Arms" and "How children Grieve."