2 Comments

  1. I’m really grateful that someone has written about this topic, because there are a huge number of articles online about how hard things are socially for pregnant women and mothers, but it’s almost impossible to find anything about the impact that pregnant women and mothers can have on other women.

    I experienced miscarriage in week 13, followed by my relationship ending (so there was no comfort in the idea of being able to try again). Soon after that, I started experiencing panic and anxiety around pregnant women and babies.There are a few things that I’d like to add to this article.

    There are a few comments in the article which suggest or assume that the grieving woman should feel happy when she hears others’ pregnancy announcements and there is an implication that it would be shameful not to.

    For example:

    “Even though she is most likely going to feel happy about your happiness”

    “I was surprised to feel I was genuinely happy for her. I realised I could still be happy for her and be sad for myself.” (This is great for you, but it’s not the case for many other women.)

    “If you don’t tell her that you’re pregnant yourself, she might even feel like you think she’s broken and can’t possibly be happy for you, which is hurtful in its own way.” (Many women do feel broken and don’t feel happy. It feels like there is implicit shame in not feeling happy, whereas it’s totally natural and understandable).

    I’m willing to openly admit that I did not feel happy at many of my friends’ and relatives’ pregnancy announcements. I felt devastated and anxious! I’d like to add that there is no particular way that a grieving person should be expected to feel. There is also no set route or time limit to grief.

    I agree with the suggestion of texting to give a grieving woman the time and privacy to process the news: My worst experiences of pregnancy announcements were on the two occasions when the couple decided to put me on the spot and tell me their news together in order to enjoy the gratification of watching my reaction. On both occasions I broke down in tears and had a panic attack in front of them which was really painful and humiliating at the same time. I would also have preferred that it was just the friend/relative who delivered the news, and for the partner not to be present, just because from my experience, men often have even less awareness around these issues than their counterparts!

    “When she’s able to cope with the pain of her loss better, she’ll be there for you.”
    There is no need for the grieving woman to get over her loss so that she can be there for you. Maybe you can think about how you can be better there for her, as you are in the privileged situation.

    “Ask her if she’s okay with hearing about your pregnancy.”
    I would recommend sticking with the advice earlier on and not tell your friend about it unless she asks.

    Maybe reconsider where and how much space you give to sharing your ‘Happy ending’ – is not the most sensitive or necessary thing to do in this article as not everyone has this good luck.

    I think all the other points in the article are spot on. However I would also add a suggestion about having an awareness of the change in social dynamics amongst females. For example, when a few of my friends had babies around the same time, they formed a social group that was exclusive of those of us who were either single or childless. Feeling like I’d been forgotten and excluded by friends really compounded the pain and isolation.

    Thanks again for writing this article, I hope over time we can spread awareness of these issues that women are experiencing so silently and individually.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and offering your perspective. I’m so sorry this happened to you, I hope you’re doing okay. I would love to update this article with some of the suggestions you have mentioned. I really appreciate your comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.