10 Ways To Help Your Wife Through A Miscarriage

It's hard to understand what your wife is going through, here's how you can be there for her.

upset woman with husband comforting her polkadot_photo / Shutterstock

Miscarriages are far more common than people think because so few women speak openly about them.

This is changing somewhat, but it still remains the case that most women will only discuss a miscarriage with their closest friends, family, and partner, and sometimes only the partner.

Men grieve miscarriages as well, obviously, but often they are surprised and distressed by the amount of grief that their partner feels. I have both personal and professional experience with miscarriage and the below tips are things that have worked for me and my clients.


They range from concrete practical things to do to new ways to frame the situation to increase your understanding and empathy.

RELATED: After Forty-Two Years Of Marriage, I Walked Away

Here are 10 ways to help your wife through a miscarriage:

1. Research what happens

Many men have no idea what a miscarriage entails. There are different types of early miscarriage, like a missed miscarriage, a chemical pregnancy, and a spontaneous abortion, as well as a stillbirth (miscarriage after twenty weeks).


Read as much as you can about what goes on in a woman’s body with different types of miscarriage. 

Some of these require a woman to have a medical procedure and some involve waiting and allowing the woman’s body to pass the tissue naturally. Read more here and on any other reputable medical site so that you can understand what is going on without her having to explain it when she is already feeling very sad and overwhelmed.

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2. Do not withdraw

Even if you are very sad and your usual defense mechanism is to withdraw into your own head or, worse, leave the house for an extended time, this will be perceived as very upsetting and abandoning your partner. T


hink of it this way: you are splitting the burden of the miscarriage across the couple. She has to undergo all the physical pain and trauma, so your job can be powering through your own tendency to withdraw and instead be present and extra-loving.

3. Be extra loving

If you struggle with understanding what this would look like in practice, here are examples: extra hugging, back rubs (if she likes touch), sitting next to her while she watches TV or whatever she is doing, saying loving things like, “I’m so sorry, I am here whenever you want to talk,” and “I am here for you whatever you need.”

4. Cheer her up

I have written before about confident momentum and that it is okay and healthy to try and cheer your partner up.

It does not invalidate someone’s grief to have a partner trying to do nice things and not just join them in endless sorrow. Cheering someone up could start a few days to a week after a miscarriage, depending on how your partner is feeling.


Cheering her up means things like planning a little trip for a month out, getting her a mani/pedi gift card, bringing home a special dessert, or buying her a gift she would like. Cheering her up NEVER MEANS saying, “It’s okay, let’s move on,” or “It does you no good to sit around, get up.”

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5. Understand the difference between grief and depression

If your wife is crying for a few days this is normal. If she has to take weeks off of work, ever discusses hurting herself, starts drinking to excess, or has bouts of rage, this is likely depression kicking in.

In this case, read this post about supporting your wife through depression and STRONGLY encourage her to get help, especially therapy.


Google a therapist near you who specializes in fertility or miscarriage (or even just women’s issues), and make the appointment if she will not.

6. Find an outlet for your own grief

Crying with your wife about the miscarriage is okay and normal for a few days on and off. If you yourself are taking off work beyond a couple of days or not functioning well at work, or you find yourself blaming God or the universe to the point that you are constantly angry, you need to speak to your own therapist.

This miscarriage is likely triggering deeper issues within you that you will need to work through both for yourself and for your partner.

7. Think about everything your wife is grieving that isn’t the baby

Many men do not realize what a potential baby means to a woman. She may think of the loss of a potential sibling for your kids.


She may have hoped she would finally have a baby of the gender she yearns for. A miscarriage, especially a repeated one, may mean to your wife that she is no longer fertile and therefore is grappling with aging and a changed identity as a young(ish) woman. 

She may have fantasized that her own mom would become closer to her if she gave her a grandchild. She may have wanted to be closer to her sister who has kids, and now she feels she may never be.

And, unlike usually for a man, having a baby may mean that a woman gets to take a break from or even permanently stop working. This may have been something she was very much looking forward to for many reasons. Ask your wife what else the pregnancy meant to her and you may be surprised at all the other things she feels she has lost.

RELATED: Woman Claims She Had A Miscarriage After Employer Forced Her To Stand For 9 Hours During High-Risk Pregnancy


8. Share your own research

I know zero women who would be offended that their husbands researched how to be a better partner during their miscarriage or any other time. In fact, husbands not researching things is a common complaint that women have in counseling.

So, in the above case, for example, you could say, “I was reading about miscarriage and how to help you. It said you may be sad about all sorts of things even aside from losing the baby. I didn’t know if that was true for you. Are you sad about other things too? I want to know and to be here for you.”

9. Understand there are still pregnancy hormones going on

Your partner may be volatile, sad, tearful, irritable, sleep more, and still be nauseous. This will start to recede within a few days of the actual miscarriage. But if there is a missed miscarriage where the embryo is still inside your partner’s uterus, then she will be feeling pregnant while not pregnant, which can be physically and emotionally destabilizing.


10. Moderate your expectations about sex

Some women like to reconnect with sex as soon as physically able and to try again to conceive.

Others feel scared of sex for a while, especially if there are repeated losses. In the case that you are no longer trying to conceive, you should discuss other birth control options with your wife, especially ones that you spearhead (condoms, vasectomy).

Also, if your wife is struggling with depression due to the loss(es), her libido may be absent. Counseling and the passage of time can help with this. If sex has not resumed within a couple of months, it would be time to address this openly and see what is going on.

Remember though, all women are different. If you try all of these tips but your partner still seems very angry with or detached from you (angry is normal, angry with you is indicative of a greater issue), share this post with her and see if there is anything I missed or that she actually feels very differently about.


Couples counseling can also help give you both a safe space to process your feelings of loss and figure out how to reconnect as a couple. Good luck and I am sorry for your loss if you are in the position of having to read this post in the first place. 

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.