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The Pros and Cons of Telling People About a Miscarriage

What are the pros and cons of telling people about a miscarriage?

Grief is an extremely intimate thing. Usually, we aren’t given a choice when it comes to inviting people into our circle of grief. When a person dies, we can’t hide it. However, we can limit how many people know about a miscarriage. So then the question becomes: what are the pros and cons of telling people about a miscarriage?

First of all, I want to be clear that I don’t think anyone should grieve in complete silence. A miscarriage isn’t something anyone should feel like they need to hide. I highly encourage you to tell at least one person besides your doctor.

Secondly, there is not a right or wrong way to grieve. Some people will naturally feel comfortable telling everyone in their life. Then there are others who want to tell only family or their closest friends. If you have recently experienced a miscarriage, I hope this post will help you decide where you feel comfortable falling on that spectrum.

My Miscarriage Story

My husband and I had a miscarriage in December 2015. At the time I was 6 weeks pregnant. We had been looking forward to adding to our family for several months, and the loss of our baby hit us hard.

At the time of our miscarriage, we had only told one person that we were expecting our third child. It felt awful telling our parents that we were losing a child before they even had a chance to celebrate the new life with us.

At first, we only told our families and a few close friends. Eventually, we made our miscarriage “public” when I announced our next pregnancy here on Simply Rebekah.

The Pros and Cons of Telling People About a Miscarriage

Pro – You open yourself up to getting amazing support from those around you. Nate and I were blessed with some very practical help with meals and childcare. Of course the emotional support through prayer, flowers, cards, and visits were extremely meaningful to us. I can’t stress enough how important it was to me to have friends offer a listening ear when I needed to talk about my loss.

Con – You open yourself up to being disappointed by people’s lack of support. While some people continuously bend over backward to be supportive, others will not. Be prepared to be disappointed at least once. There may be people in your life you expect to check in on you often, but they rarely do.  I had some people in my life who knew about our miscarriage, but never acknowledged the loss.

Pro – People have the opportunity to share their miscarriage stories with you. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most likely, you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage. Talking to friends who could relate to my story was so important to me. I appreciated being able to process my feelings aloud to someone who knew what I was going through.

Con – People say stupid things in an attempt to be supportive. They mean well, but sometimes the best of intentions fall flat.

Common phrases that may rub you the wrong way:
You can always try again. 
At least you still have your other children.
God needed another angel.
It is probably for the best.

The worst thing I heard after my miscarriage was “The Great Physician has intervened, and we can trust His judgment.” This statement implies that God had taken my baby, but I truly don’t believe that. I believe we live in a broken world, and that God cries with us when we are suffering. If I placed the blame on God, I would have directed all of my anger onto Him also. That would have hurt my faith, which I desperately needed as I was grieving.

Pro – There are people you can call or send a text to when you are having a bad day, and they instantly understand. There was a pregnancy announcement that was really hard for me to hear. Our older children are the same ages, and we would have shared the same due date. Their announcement was even similar to what I had envisioned for our pregnancy. Although I was happy for them, I was also jealous. I shared the pregnancy announcement with a close friend, and she knew exactly why I was struggling with it.

Con – If everyone knows, then it is hard to “fake it” when you want to. After my miscarriage there were times when I wanted to go about my business and pretend that everything was fine. Everything was NOT fine, but I wanted to pretend at times. It was easier to put on a smile at my church’s moms group and the extended family Christmas rather than let my raw emotions out for the entire group to see.

Pro – Friends and family will understand if you are extra nervous if/when you get pregnant again. They can surround you with love and prayer as you journey through your next pregnancy.

Con – Friends and family may hesitate to celebrate your next pregnancy. I hated the idea of my friends and family being nervous about my next pregnancy. I had enough nervous feelings for all of us! So when Nate and I did get pregnant again, we decided to wait to tell everyone until we had completed the first trimester. I don’t think this is the right choice for everyone.

What are the pros and cons of telling people about a miscarriage?

My Unexpected Struggle with Telling People About Our Miscarriage

The hardest part of our miscarriage was losing the baby. The second hardest part was how vulnerable I felt after telling our family and friends. 

Nate and I have always been very hush-hush about our family plans. We didn’t tell anyone when we were trying to get pregnant with our older children. We loved surprising everyone with our happy news when we were expecting.

Nate and I went into our third pregnancy with the same plan. I was so excited to tell everyone that we were having another baby. Everyone was going to be so surprised. No one was expecting us to have a third baby.

But that isn’t how it worked out.

Instead, with tear stained cheeks, we told our families that we were losing our baby. And suddenly, I felt so exposed. My most private and personal dreams for my family were shared with everyone. This didn’t bother Nate, but I hated it.

I felt like everyone was now expecting another pregnancy and waiting for the news. It made me anxious and self conscious. I felt like I was under a microscope.

When we did get pregnant again, it wasn’t surprising to some. That was hard for me.

I don’t expect everyone to relate to my struggles with feeling vulnerable after our miscarriage. It isn’t necessarily a universal feeling, but it was one of the hardest aspects of my miscarriage. Yet, despite how much I hated feeling so exposed, the positives we experienced from telling family and friends about our miscarriage were worth it.

If you are nervous about telling people about a miscarriage…

I understand.

There are some uncomfortable feelings that can come from sharing something so intimate with the world, but I strongly advise you to consider the positives. The positives may outweigh the negatives.

Perhaps start gently. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Tell someone you deeply trust. Test the waters.

And for whatever it’s worth, I am terribly sorry for your loss. It wasn’t suppose to be this way. I’m sorry.

Further Reading:

Did you tell people about your miscarriage? 

photos via Pixabay


  1. Oh, Rebekah, I did. I lost my first pregnancy at 4 1/2 months…twins girls. I was bereft (we had tried so hard for these babies) and couldn’t understand how reticent my mother-in-law and own mother were. (My mom turned it around to be her loss, not ours.) My little sister was my most amazing support; my husband used his grief to turn the loss into my failure. After all, I was the only one who had trouble conceiving, so I was the only one who failed to hold onto the babies. We lucked out with our first son, but then, lost two more pregnancies at 3 months before our second son was born. I only mentioned the losses in passing for those, although my sister was still there for me. I remember feeling like I had been punched in the gut – one moment I was pregnant, special with that sacred secret of bearing new life, and the next – I was empty. Empty arms, and empty-spirited. To this day, I choose to grieve alone. When my husband passed, no one saw me cry because I only felt safe doing so with my sister who was, as always, my staunchest support. I’m truly sorry for you loss, dear. It’s so unfair, isn’t it?

    1. Ninna, I am terribly sorry for all the loss you have experienced in your life. It truly is more than anyone should have to deal with. Blessings to you.

      1. Sweet Rebekkah, thank you. I’ve tried to see tribulations as God’s way of toughening me up for hard times. And we have to endure the darkness in order to revel in the light, right? It has made me so grateful for my two wonderful sons, my ‘survivors’, and for the husband who created such joy and displayed tender understanding of my feelings (no matter how differently he might have seen things). Sometimes I wish he had been my sons’ dad, they were both so fond of him and respected him greatly…but at least I had 23 years with him. If I’d met him at a young age, my boys and his two children would have been replaced with children we made together, which would have been wonderful, if it weren’t for the fact that four marvelous people would never have been born! And those four are our finest works… To put it bluntly…that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right? LOL So far, I’m waking up on the right side of the sod every morning…a blessing, tempered in the fires of pain and hardship, perhaps, but so much more appreciated because these days are a victory, indeed! xoxo

  2. I’m on vacation with my kids and my fiancé and I’m miscarrying now. We just told the kids I was pregnant yesterday. This is impossibly hard, but reading your story helps, if even just a little. I’m sorry you went through this.

    1. Angel, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. What a hard situation to be away from home and with needing to share the devastating news with your children. Be gentle with yourself. Prayers.

  3. Hi Rebekah, Thank you for your post and to the other ladies for the comments.
    I just went through this almost 2 weeks ago, and somehow I thought two weeks would be enough…but it is still hard. I do not have family that I can confied in (mom will gossip with the aunts) and my husband is VERY hush hush about personal matters, not a talker….So I am struggling with this alone (I told 2 friends, but no one asks, not that they have to!)…
    Anyway, I am very grateful to you for sharing your experience with us. Thank you, Be well & safe.

    1. First of all, I am very sorry for your loss. This isn’t how life is supposed to be. This isn’t how your pregnancy was suppose to be. I am very, very sorry.

      Erin, 2 weeks is not enough. Not nearly enough. Please be gentle with yourself. Grief is a tricky thing. It can sneak up on you. It can knock you off your feet. It can drag on and on.

      Grief can’t be rushed.

      Please reach out to a friend about how you are feeling. Talk to your husband more. Even seek out a counselor or pastor to talk to.

      Are you a person of faith? If so, I have some podcast recommendations I could make for you. Check out Sorta Awesome podcast episodes 80 & 192. They are both focused more on my personal story.

      Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

      1. Hi Rebekah-Thank you so much for this. I’m just seeing your note now. I really appreciate your kind words and advice. I look forward to listening to the podcast tonight. Be well & safe. Thanks again…

  4. This article was an answer to prayer. I haven’t really had anyone close to me go through this. Or at least people that were open about it.

    I just miscarried a few days ago. Was almost to 12 weeks and 10 days away from having my family together to share the big news.

    But now I have something completely different to tell them.

    Thank you for sharing your story and wisdom. It was extremely helpful! So sorry for your loss!

    1. Stephanie, I am so very sorry for your loss. A loss at 12 weeks is so hard. I am glad this post was helpful to you as you began processing how you wanted to share your loss with your family and friends. I hope you have peace about that decision. Again, I am so, so sorry.

  5. Rebekah, your story resonated with me. I am a two time cancer survivor. Was diagnosed with breast cancer June , 2001 and went thru lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. When finished I told doc i was very tired. She replied “take a nap!” and I said I do but wake up feeling worse than when I first laid down. She told me “well, we’ve checked your Thyroid. You are fine and we’ve cured you of cancer so go live your life!” The next 10 months I slogged through, dragging myself and my husband through. I had cancelled my doctorate degree in psychology since I was diagnosed at the time I was to start, and we desperately wanted a child, but had miscarried three years ago. So with doc’s blessings, we tried again. With AI and succeeded! Yay! Our long awaited bundle of joy was to be with us in June, 2002. Well, I kept having a low grade fever, so called my doc on October 26, 2002 to ask him what I should do. I was worried about my baby. He said if it continues thru the weekend, go to ER. I remember asking “can I wait until Monday to see you?” He said No. So on October 28, 2002 my husband took me to ER, thinking I needed fluids. He is an entertainer and had 5 shows that day at a nearby farm and I was going to have my friend Mary, pick me up. Well, they drew one vial of blood and saw something was very wrong. My doctor came in, seeing my name while he was checking on other patients, and said something about cancer. I said No, cancer was LAST year, baby is THIS year. He said “you don’t understand” and I cut him off, telling him just call Bill (my husband) and tell him to come back to the hospital when he is done with shows. The doctor left the room, and my husband was back in under an hour. I said what are you doing here? He said I couldn’t think.
    They wanted to admit me to isolation. I wanted to go home and hide under my bed. Doctors told my family my breast cancer had gone to my brain and I would be dead within a week. They said not to tell me! The administrator of the hospital came and told me i had to abort my baby. I repeated over and over to her that “God gave me this life, He can take it when He wants.” I could NOT abort my precious baby. My husband said when they did an ultrasound, our little Christian looked like he was waving his hands saying Hi! I slipped into a coma, had 105 degree fever, and was in ICU when a nurse said “we’ve got to get her out of here” and they transferred me to Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. They said I had a seizure in the ambulance. I had an out of body experience in the MRI machine the day I was transferred. I woke up a few days after Thanksgiving with my husband sleeping beside me in a chair. He said when he told me our little Christian had died, I frowned. I don’t remember that,….Anyway, I had to learn to walk again and write my name over and over with physical therapy. I had to practice walking up steps. Then I needed a bone marrow transplant. They found ONE person that matched me out of almost 5 million people on the transplant list! I had AML acute myelogeonous leukemia FROM breast cancer treatment. An infectious disease doctor told me “we had you on every antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal we could think of, but a day or two before you were going to die, your body kicked back in. I give all of the credit to my precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He performed that miracle for us. Anyway, I needed a bone marrow transplant. They found ONE Person out of almost 5 million people that matched me! Yay! Another miracle given to me by the Lord Jesus Christ! I spent 32 days in the hospital, went home and buried our baby Christian Hartford Schulert in our backyard under a silver maple tree, had a small service,….and then I spoke to my husband about adoption. He wasn’t sure, and I said let’s just go to a class and see. We went and he fell in love with the Chinese babies we saw there!
    Fast forward to 2007. We had been waiting FOREVER for our little girl. We had requested YAP (young as possible) because we didn’t know how many we’d be able to adopt! China had sent referrals to everyone in our group except us, and when our agency contacted them, they said they would never give us a baby. Not to be deterred, we decided to try Vietnam. Then we got more delays by going with the agency we chose, it’s another long story, but the gist of it is that God was in control the entire time, and our daughter just wasn’t born yet. In July 2003 I flew over to Vietnam to pick up our baby girl, Sang (sang) Gnoc (nop) Vo’. She was an adorable, beautiful baby and where my heart was fractured healed up as they handed her to me and I looked into her eyes. When she saw my husband at the airport, she gave him a big gooey smile and put her hand on his cheek. He was in love from the first moment! She was 7 months old, and 11 pounds, and I feel as though I didn’t miss a thing. We got to teach her to crawl, eat solid foods and so on! She is 13 years old, 14 next month, and in 8th grade. She is a wonderful kid, normal for a teenager, and we are so thankful to God for her in our home. She has made us a family. Thought I’d give you the good God can give our of tragedy. My husband said some years ago “if you had never had leukemia, we never would have met Deidre!” And he’s right!

    1. Wow! This is an incredible story! It sounds like a terrifying experience, especially for your husband to have to watch you battling for your life so much. I am terribly sorry for the loss of your baby. Life really isn’t suppose to be this way. What a blessing it will be to have your entire family reunited in Heaven one day.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Diane.

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