How to deal with the grief of miscarriage as a father

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  • Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, suffered a miscarriage in July, and shared her story in a recent New York Times article.
  • Other people who have suffered pregnancy loss, including Chrissy Teigen, voiced their support.
  • For their partners, it is a unique experience of grief, too, albeit without the physical aspect.
  • Here are three ways men can support their partners and deal with their own feelings following a miscarriage.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This week, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, wrote an essay for the New York Times revealing she suffered a pregnancy loss in July. Her words prompted support and solidarity from people everywhere who have miscarried.

Pregnant people who experience miscarriages can experience bleeding, cramping, depression, and PTSD after their loss.

Their partners, like Prince Harry, may wonder what their role is in all this. Studies show it’s common for fathers to experience a crisis of identity after a miscarriage, but it’s natural to question how much space to give their feelings of grief, and how to be supportive.

Here are three ways men can deal with their own trauma and support their partners following a miscarriage.

Don’t rush to offer solutions

Consoling your partner with solutions or phrases like “you can have another baby” or “we can try again” might be the go-to response when mourning the loss.

But it’s important to listen to the needs of the person that just miscarried.

Instead, you should prioritise asking what they need in the moment or simply sitting down and listening without any questions.

“Simply being there for your partner by listening and giving her ‘a shoulder to cry on’ is often what women want most from their partners,” reads RaisingChildren.net.au, an Australian parenting website.

Be prepared to talk about the baby

Oftentimes, parents will get attached to children before they are born — imagining names, how they will look, and who they will become.

In many cases, the American Pregnancy Association says, “hearing others say the name helps a grieving person heal.”

Be prepared, as a partner, to say it back; to be a sounding board and discuss the child. It may be a challenge, but it may be crucial support.

Your own feelings are valid, and you will be a better partner if you recognise them

It’s common for partners to feel their main responsibility is to support the healing process.

But it is also important for partners to dedicate time to understanding their own feelings about the miscarriage rather than pushing them aside.

It’s not uncommon for cisgender, heterosexual men to exhibit “feelings of sadness, devastation, powerlessness, fear, shock and a loss of identity” after a miscarriage, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One.

Staying silent on your own feelings may cause feelings of resentment or depression, the “Miscarriage Association” warns, which is why it’s crucial to find a way to process them.

Processing can look like journaling, talking it out with a therapist or close friend, or even starting on a project to focus energy and attention on.


Read More:

Chrissy Teigen said she’s in a ‘grief depression hole’ after defending Meghan Markle’s essay about miscarriage

Chrissy Teigen defended Meghan Markle’s miscarriage essay after the duchess was accused of attention seeking

What it’s like to recover physically and emotionally from a miscarriage, which Meghan Markle described as ‘carrying an almost unbearable grief’

Meghan Markle’s powerful essay about her miscarriage is inspiring people from around the world to share their own stories

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