Posted: Mar 03, 2013 10:00 PM
 
Having a miscarriage is tough, but talking to your children about it can be even tougher. How do you tell them? What if they are too young to understand or old enough that you worry about how the news with affect them? Ariadna Cymet Lanski and moms share their advice and stories to help you find the words to talk about your loss with your kids.

As a childbirth educator and doula, I've worked with (too) many families who have suffered miscarriages. I've learned how difficult it can be for families to talk about loss with other adults, and I can't begin to imagine how it must be like when talking to children about miscarriage.

Be truthful

While there is no need to tell them more detail than what they ask, be willing to address their questions about what went wrong honestly.

Telling the truth about losing a pregnancy is tough, but necessary according to Ariadna Cymet Lanski, a clinical psychologist with Fertility Centers of Illinois. "Talk about the reasons why miscarriage and stillbirth happen," she says. "While there is no need to tell them more detail than what they ask, be willing to address their questions about what went wrong honestly."

Joan West is the mother of five children. She had a stillbirth before her oldest twins were born, then had a miscarriage. "When we had the miscarriage, we told the boys that the baby hadn’t developed properly," she says. "They took us at our word because it was the truth."

Be reassuring

You may be worried about talking to your kids about miscarriage, but they may be more worried about you.

"Reassure them that you are fine and that the miscarriage or stillbirth does not mean anything is wrong with you," Lanski explains.

Keep communicating

The baby you lost was your older child's brother or sister, and he or she may feel a sense of loss when hearing the news of the miscarriage.

While your instinct may be to shield your child from what happened, it's okay to cry and grieve with them, according to Lanski. She says, "Recognize that your older children may grieve the loss of the baby along with you. The baby you lost was your older child's brother or sister, and he or she may feel a sense of loss when hearing the news of the miscarriage."

Although it's a tough discussion to have, you should keep the lines of communication with your children open — especially if they're older. As Lanski explains, "Having clear and open communication with your child is best. It will create an island of security and trust in you which will last for a lifetime."

Read more about life after miscarriage

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