A miscarriage is one of the most devastating experiences that a woman can go through. The grief at the loss of a new life is immense and so is the physical trauma that her body suffers. At such times, a woman needs all the care and understanding that her husband can give her. But many times, he has no clue where to begin and how to proceed. Here is a brief guide on how to help your wife deal with a miscarriage and cope emotionally as well as physically.
Be there physically
It is extremely important that you are by your wife’s side when she is miscarrying as well as after the event. A woman feels completely helpless at what is happening to her body and needs her husband to be physically with her. Make sure that she gets medical attention as soon as she can, since only trained medical personnel can competently deal with the physical process of a miscarriage.
Let her rest
After your wife returns home, make her as comfortable as possible. Make sure she gets all the rest she can and does not have to worry about household chores, or going back to work. The physical impact of a miscarriage is as severe as an accident, since it involves loss of a part of the body. If you appreciate this, you will understand how crucial it is for your wife to get complete rest.
Be ready to talk to her
Let your wife know that you will be there, in case she needs to talk about the miscarriage. If she wishes to grieve alone, let her be. Sooner or later, she will want to talk about it with you. Hold your wife gently in your arms and let her cry if she feels like it. Tell her that you know that none of this was her fault and she had nothing to do with the loss of the pregnancy. Let her know that you love her and nothing in the world will change that.
Be careful of what you say
You may be feeling as miserable as your wife, at the loss of the pregnancy. But be careful how you express it before your wife. While she may find comfort in the grieving process, you may want to leave the experience behind you as soon as possible. Understand that your wife may be hurt, if you say that what has happened was not the end of the world and it is time to look ahead. Because at this time, your wife actually feels it is the end of her dreams and a future she had been planning for. So, being flippant or dismissive about the miscarriage will not help your wife, but may make you seem insensitive.
Take charge of your home
Your wife may have miscarried, but she is not in a coma. So after a few days, she is sure to worry about the house and other members of the family, even though she is lying in bed. Assure her that you are there to take care of the kids, if you have any. And if not, tell her that you will do your best to run the house, and that she is not to worry on that account. Make her understand that more she rests, the sooner she will be able to heal.
Restrict access to her
After family and friends come to know of your wife’s miscarriage, they are bound to call her up or come to see her. For a couple of days following the miscarriage, try not to allow every other person to call her up. Your wife may be physically too weak to speak, or may not be emotionally ready to talk about the miscarriage. Let her mother or a particularly close friend speak to her, but only if she asks for it. Later, be guided by your wife’s inclinations on who she does or does not want to meet or speak to.
Look after yourself too
Many times men tend to get the short end of the stick, when it comes to dealing with a miscarriage. Family and friends are there to comfort the wife, but they often forget the husband, who is struggling with his own feelings of loss and helplessness. Worse, husbands cannot take comfort in grieving openly, as they are expected to be ‘strong’ in order to support their wives. If you feel the same, then look for ways to express your feelings. Write about it in a diary, since letting it all out often has a cathartic effect and helps one to get on with the healing process. But be careful not to succumb to destructive habits like alcohol or drugs. This is a time when you need to take care of yourself, as well as your wife.
Avoid planning the future
This is the time to focus on your wife’s healing process. So don’t bring up any plans for the future as far as more pregnancies or children are concerned. Don’t act as though you have already forgotten what has happened, or that it was not such a big deal – after all, so many women go through miscarriages! Talk like this will only depress your wife further and put her off planning children with you. Give your wife time to heal completely. If she wants to try to get pregnant again, let her bring it up, when she is ready.
The time required to heal after a miscarriage can take anything from a couple of weeks to several months. Be patient with your wife and don’t push her too hard to “get on with it”. Let her fully grieve the loss of a life, for only after that, she will be ready to look ahead. Coping with a miscarriage is extremely difficult for both partners and how you do it may even determine the future of your marriage. If a wife feels that her husband was insensitive to her needs during this painful time, she may decide to opt out of a relationship. So how you deal with your wife’s miscarriage, is not only important to her physical and emotional well-being, but also crucial to the survival of your marriage.