“It was the Product of Conception”

I’m sure that losing a baby at any stage is very painful. So I’m not saying that miscarriage is worse than any other loss. But this kind of grief is greatly misunderstood.

When my baby died, other people seemed to stop seeing my little one as my child. It was as if my baby had become a disposable object that I should quickly ‘get over’ or even replace because they kept telling me I was ‘young enough to have another one.’

I know that they didn’t know any better. I know that they were actually trying to help. But their words only made the whole experience worse.

My own doctor said this to me, too. In fact, she even referred to my baby as “the product of conception.” How cold! I couldn’t believe my ears!

I do understand that doctors have to emotionally detach themselves from their patients, or else they’ll lose professional objectivity. My close friend is a psychologist, so I am aware of this. But really – my doctor was ‘going overboard’ here. 

What did I do? I simply walked out of her office, and found myself a new doctor.

And my new doctor has a lovely bedside manner. He remains emotionally detached, but also empathises with the patients in his ever-growing practice -- because when he has to deliver any bad news, he simply says “I’m sorry”.

I ask all professionals to please just say “I’m sorry” when your patient loses a baby. No other words will help, I promise you.

And who knows? As a result, maybe your practice will grow all the more too…



I’d like to thank the caring professionals who visit this website. I’m sure that, deep down, it must be hard for you too -- when your patient’s baby is lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or neo natal death. I hope this website helps you discover the “right things to say”. Thanks again.


Comments (1)

Said this on 14-04-11 At 12:15 am

We were pregnant with triplets, my wife carried them to 34 weeks, but my son had a "cord event" and died in the womb.  After this happened, I was hyper-sensitive to everything, but the one phrase that will always stick with me was when the ultrasound technician found him, and saw that his heart had stopped. She didn't say anything hushed, didn't try to call the doctor, nor comfort me and my wife. She simply screamed (well, probably not - but that was my perception), "Baby C has expired".  These words haunt me, and the cold nature of them - expired - as my wife recalled, "What was he? A carton of milk"?  The impersonal euphemisms of our society I suppose are designed to protect us, but this phrase is the one that will haunt me forever.

 

 

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