There is not enough support for women who go through miscarriages—and we need to do better

Minimizing the significance of her loss can also make things feel so much heavier.


The emotional anguish of miscarriage is one of the most difficult experiences to go through. Heartbreak, grief and confusion can become ever harder to cope with the symptoms and physical challenges that can be a part of loss.

To put it plainly, it is awful.

Unfortunately, many women find that on top of the inherent devastation of miscarriage, they do not receive the emotional support they so desperately crave from medical providers, making the experience all the more difficult.

Certainly, this is not always the case, but it is common enough that we need to address it.

Miscarriage is common, affecting up to 15% of pregnancies. For this reason, healthcare workers see it all the time—and this can lead to desensitization. I'll be honest here: this is often intentional. As a midwife, the first miscarriages I diagnosed for women destroyed me. I cried for days and had a hard time going back to work. I realized, though, that in the grand scheme of things, if I "let" myself fall apart every time, I would get burnt out, jaded and ultimately unable to do this work anymore. So I forced myself to harden a bit.


But we have to be careful not to take this self-protection too far. Because it may be the third miscarriage we've seen that day, but to the woman going through it, it is everything. Statistics mean nothing when you are the one experiencing the tragedy.

There are ways to support women while maintaining our own wellbeing. Self-care is essential as a healthcare worker, as is the admission that we too are human, and all humans are allowed to have bad days. We need to be self-aware enough to know when we are not capable of providing the appropriate support, and we need to support our co-workers when they do the same.

"I am going through something at home, and I don't think I have the emotional bandwidth to nurture this patient through her miscarriage today. Can you please work with her instead?" is as noble as all the other times when we do summon the courage.

Sometimes it can feel like healthcare workers aren't doing anything. The medical side of this is that so often, there is simply nothing to be done. Miscarriages usually cannot be stopped, so our only course of action is to ensure that the woman in front of us is safe and comfortable.

But to the woman experiencing the miscarriage, inaction feels like apathy. I think the key here is communication. So often, knowing that there is a plan in place can provide immense comfort. "I am going to let you rest and wait for the midwife to answer my page. I will be back in about 20 minutes," feels significantly better than just disappearing into the hallway.

Our culture has a hard time with sadness. There is this pressure to "move on" and "stay busy." And we also tend to feel like we have to "fix" everything. Sitting still with feelings of sorrow is incredibly difficult and uncomfortable, and so we do—we move quickly, or we say things that we think will make the situation better. This is noble in intention, but the truth is that so often, it makes it worse.

What might be comforting words for us could be the absolute last thing the woman in front of us wants to hear. For example, we might make an assumption about the spiritual implications of her loss that she does not connect with—comments like "it wasn't meant to be," or "they are in a better place," may have no relevance to her.

Minimizing the significance of her loss can also make things feel so much heavier. "At least you know you can get pregnant," or "you were only five weeks pregnant," are not appropriate statements.

I have learned that so often, the best response is to simply be. Ask for permission, and if granted, just sit with her. Don't touch her, don't say anything, just be. In the quiet space that we hold for her, she will understand that she is not alone. And that can make all the difference.

Lastly, we must acknowledge that the woman having the miscarriage may not be the only one having an awful day. If she is partnered, or if she comes to the ER or office with a family member, that person has a lot of needs too. They need to be included in our care. And we need to do with without making assumptions. Within this is remembering that all families have miscarriages, and heteronormative language and gender-based discrimination have absolutely no place here. If we are unsure of how to address someone, we need to ask.

Ultimately, we need to ask the people in front of us what they need.

"What are you feeling right now?"

"Do you have a sense of what might be helpful? If not, can I share some ideas of what others have needed and you can tell me if any of those sound right?"

"Would you prefer to have space or would you like me to stay here with you?"

"We have a social worker/therapist/pastor/etc. working today. Would you like to speak with them?"

And to the woman having a miscarriage: "First, I am so, so sorry."

"Second, please know that you can ask for whatever you need—and what you need it allowed to evolve as you go through this process. It is an honor to care for you during this time. You are important."

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.


    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

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