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Partners and miscarriage

5-minute read

Key facts

  • Miscarriage is a loss that affects both partners, whether or not they carried the pregnancy.
  • It is normal to experience emotional reactions to miscarriage, including grief, even if you did not physically experience the miscarriage.
  • It's important to look after yourself, in addition to supporting your partner.
  • Support services are available for partners, including for sexually and gender-diverse (LGBTIQA+) partners.

How might I experience miscarriage, as the non-pregnant partner?

A miscarriage can be a time of great sadness for both the person carrying the pregnancy and their partner. If you were not the pregnant partner, it is still important to acknowledge your loss and to take time to look after yourself, as well as your partner.

It is normal to experience a range of emotions, including sadness, helplessness and anger. You may have many feelings at the same time and these feeling may change over time.

You may feel that you need to be strong for your partner or that you should not feel as upset as your partner. Sometimes, this can mean that you neglect your own grief. It is important to acknowledge your feelings and take the time to manage your own grief, while you are supporting you partner.

People in sexually and gender-diverse relationships

People in sexually and gender-diverse relationships may experience additional challenges, as the journey to pregnancy may have been difficult. You may not have notified your workplace or other people, due to fear of a negative response. This may add to the emotional burden you are experiencing at this time.

If you are in a sexually and/or gender-diverse relationship and experience a miscarriage, you may find mainstream support services unhelpful. There are specific support services available if you need them, that are sensitive to your needs and experiences.

Looking after yourself

Looking after your physical and emotional wellbeing is vital. Self-care such as eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep can help you manage your feelings and cope with the grief.

You may find it helpful to talk about your experience with a friend or family member. If you have strong or ongoing feelings that are affecting your daily life, speak to a mental health professional.

Supporting your partner during a miscarriage

Your partner may be very upset following a miscarriage, but not everyone reacts the same way. It may take time for your partner to recover physically and emotionally following a miscarriage.

It is important to let your partner know how you feel about the miscarriage and that you need their support too. Understanding that you are both grieving may help you both feel less alone.

Here are some ideas to help you and your partner support each other:

  • Talk openly your partner about your feelings, listen to each other's emotions and views so you identify what your partner needs.
  • Take time outside of your home together; sometimes a change of environment can be helpful.
  • Do activities that you enjoy together.
  • Seek any practical and/or emotional support from your loved ones and/or professionals as you heal.

Moving on after miscarriage

It may take time for either or both of you to want sexual intimacy again. This is normal and is best managed by talking openly to each other.

Thinking about trying for pregnancy again can also be a difficult issue. It can take time for you or your partner to be emotionally ready for another pregnancy after miscarriage, even if your partner has physically recovered. It is important to discuss how you feel with your partner. Try to be patient, and understand that your partner's recovery journey may take more (or less) time than yours. There is no right or wrong time to start trying again.

If you are worried that your partner is really struggling, talk to them about getting professional help. Your family doctor or the support organisations listed below are a good place to start.

Resources and support

Red Nose Grief and Loss provides support for miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death. Call their support line on 1300 308 307, available 24 hours a day.

Miscarriage Australia has a webpage with links to many organisations that support LGBTIQA+ families through miscarriage.

NSW health has a booklet about miscarriage in many community languages.

The Pink Elephants provide information and peer-support for anyone impacted by early pregnancy loss.

Resources and support for men can also be found on Miscarriage Australia.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2023

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Need more information?

For LGBTIQA+ - Miscarriage Australia

Information around experiencing miscarriage as someone who identifies as LGBTIQA+ and where to find LGBTIQA+ specific support organisations.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

Finding Support - Miscarriage Australia

There are many support services in Australia. Some specialise in miscarriage loss, others offer broader perinatal or mental health support.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

Pregnancy Loss Support Services for LGBTIQA+ - Miscarriage Australia

If you are experiencing miscarriage as an LGBTIQA+ person or partner you may prefer to seek support through LGBTIQA+ friendly services.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

Pregnancy Loss Support Services for Men - Miscarriage Australia

There are many services in Australia to help support you. Some are for anyone affected by miscarriage and some are specifically for men.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

For Women - Miscarriage Australia

Every woman will experience miscarriage differently. Here we share pregnancy loss information and support services specifically for women.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

The Pink Elephants Support Network - Peer Support - Private Online Communities

Welcome to our Private Online Communities page, where you can connect with many others who have gone through the heartbreaking experience of losing their much-loved babies

Read more on The Pink Elephants Support Network website

The Pink Elephants Support Network - Bereavement Support Program

Pink Elephants Bereavement Support Program is a small online group program for people who have experienced miscarriage and early pregnancy loss, facilitated by our Counsellor, Marianne.

Read more on The Pink Elephants Support Network website

Supporting someone who's had a miscarriage - Miscarriage Australia

If a loved one has experienced a miscarriage, your empathy and acknowledgement of their pregnancy loss can be of enormous value.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

The Pink Elephants Support Network - Moving Beyond Miscarriage

The Pink Elephants Support Network are a not for profit charity, formed to support women through miscarriage, pregnancy loss and beyond.

Read more on The Pink Elephants Support Network website

The Pink Elephants Support Network - Types of Miscarriage

A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that normally ends before 5 weeks

Read more on The Pink Elephants Support Network website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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