Emily Oster

3 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

How Can I Talk to My Child About My Miscarriage?

Q&A on grief

Emily Oster

3 min Read

I recently went through a miscarriage and wasn’t expecting to feel so overwhelmed and sad. I want to make the holidays special for my toddler this year, but I’m not sure I can manage it. How do I heal and move on while caring for another kid and myself? What do I tell my toddler about why mommy is crying?

—Anonymous

I asked my friend Marisa Renee Lee, the author of Grief Is Love, to weigh in here. Her book is the best one I’ve read on grief, and you can listen to her in tomorrow’s podcast episode as well.

Let me begin by saying I am sorry. Pregnancy loss is often less than visible, but that does not make it any less real, and what you are going through is really hard.

Before you move into the business of making the holidays special for your toddler, I hope you can give yourself permission to grieve. Oftentimes we make grief harder, and healing less accessible, by denying ourselves the right to be sad. In a culture that is always pushing for positivity — especially during the holiday season — it can be hard to just be sad, so I hope you will give yourself that. 

Second, when we experience loss, we are not required to move on. Give yourself space to move through the pain, and when it comes to your toddler, tell them a version of the truth. With my 2-year-old, I use language he can understand and I remind him that it is okay to be sad sometimes, because it is. Try “Mommy is crying just like you cry when you don’t get dessert or can’t find your lovey. I’m feeling sad right now, and I’m going to let myself feel sad before we make our breakfast.” Those examples are what my son cries over, but feel free to insert your own. Keep it simple, but don’t hide your pain. Raising resilient kids means creating space for the myriad emotions that arise in this life, not solely happiness and joy. And when it comes to making the holidays “special,” let go of that pressure. From the perspective of a toddler, Christmas is already special enough — loads of sugar, a guy who visits at night and leaves you presents (!), plus more quality time with mom and dad is more than enough. Do not buy into anyone else’s expectations around what qualifies as special, because deep down we all know it really doesn’t take much to impress a toddler!

Healing requires us to be honest about our pain, to be intentional about our care, and to create space for joy. As you move through this holiday season, alongside the caretaking and magic-making you’re doing for your child, I hope you will create space for your own healing as well.

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Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET 
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray

Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray
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Do you brand things a certain way to get your kid to accept it? Like calling carrots “rabbit popsicles”? Or telling them to put on their “super speed socks” in the morning? Share your rebrands in the comments below! You never know who you might be helping out 👇

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Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on the data around sun and heat exposure for babies.

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OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio!

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OUT NOW: My new book “The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications” is available on April 30th. All of my other books came out of my own experiences. I wrote them to answer questions I had, as a pregnant woman and then as a new parent. “The Unexpected” is a book not to answer my own questions but to answer yours. Specifically, to answer the thousands of questions I’ve gotten over the past decade from people whose pregnancies were more complicated than they had expected. This is for you. 💛 Order now at my link in bio!

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Sources:
📖 #ExpectingBetter pp. 160-163
📈 Robert M. Silver et al., “Prospective Evaluation of Maternal Sleep Position Through 30 Weeks of Gestation and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes,” Obstetrics and Gynecology 134, no. 4 (2019): 667–76. 

#emilyoster #pregnancy #pregnancytips #sleepingposition #pregnantlife

Is side sleeping important during pregnancy? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on whether sleep position affects pregnancy outcomes.

Being pregnant makes you tired, and as time goes by, it gets increasingly hard to get comfortable. You were probably instructed to sleep on your side and not your back, but it turns out that advice is not based on very good data.

We now have much better data on this, and the bulk of the evidence seems to reject the link between sleep position and stillbirth or other negative outcomes. So go ahead and get some sleep however you are most comfortable. 💤

Sources:
📖 #ExpectingBetter pp. 160-163
📈 Robert M. Silver et al., “Prospective Evaluation of Maternal Sleep Position Through 30 Weeks of Gestation and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes,” Obstetrics and Gynecology 134, no. 4 (2019): 667–76.

#emilyoster #pregnancy #pregnancytips #sleepingposition #pregnantlife
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#pregnancy #pregnancycomplications #pregnancyjourney #preeclampsiaawareness #postpartumjourney #emilyoster
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We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy. 

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙

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Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙
...