A powerful campaign is shedding light on the good, bad and ugly things people say to individuals who’ve experienced miscarriage.
In August, The Miscarriage Association, a U.K.-based charity dedicated to supporting people who’ve suffered pregnancy loss, launched the #SimplySay campaign. The organization asked participants to share photos of themselves holding signs with the helpful and unhelpful things people can say to those who’ve been through the pain of a miscarriage.
To indicate helpful words participants want people to say, they wrote #Say on their signs, and for the unhelpful things they’d prefer not to hear, they wrote #DontSay.
“We have long worked to encourage people to talk more openly about miscarriage, but we’ve been struck by those affected who told us that one reason they didn’t talk or share was the responses they received,” The Miscarriage Association’s national director, Ruth Bender Atik, told HuffPost.
“That promoted us to research public attitudes to and perceptions of miscarriage and the results we got were really significant ― many were sympathetic and wanted to help, but a lot of them said they held back for fear of saying the wrong thing – and clearly, people do, albeit with the best of intentions.” she added. “So we set out to improve that! The Simply Say campaign aims to help people to think about what to say and what to avoid saying.”
The campaign has been shared widely on social media in the U.K. and beyond. “We’ve received a request from Uruguay to translate our infographic into Spanish,” Atik noted. A video for the campaign has reached almost 70,000 views on Facebook, and the organization’s photo gallery is up to 208 photos.
People in the medical community have inquired about making posters of the Simply Say infographic and are sharing links to their resources. The campaign has also enhanced participants’ support networks.
“Some people have told us that by sharing their photos on Facebook, they have connected with other Facebook friends who divulged that they too had been through miscarriage, and that created new bonds and support,” Atik said.
The impact of the campaign has been particularly exciting for The Miscarriage Association because it is a small charitable organization with a staff of only six members.
“Those who have participated – men as well as women - have told us that they are grateful for the opportunity to get their (often unspoken) feelings on this topic out there. They all want the opportunity to say ‘This is what I need, this helps’ as well as ‘This really hurts, so please don’t say it.’”
Keep scrolling and visit The Miscarriage Association’s Facebook page for more examples of things to say and not say to people who have experienced pregnancy loss.