7 empathy cards for someone who's lost a pregnancy. Because it's hard to know what to say.

Up to 20% of pregnancies end in loss. And yet, we still have a hard time talking about it.

We'll get to why that is in a minute. But first, let that number sink in: 20%. What does our discomfort or silence mean for those whose pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth?


It can make them feel alone — isolated, hurting, and sometimes even ashamed.

What if we acknowledged the loss of a pregnancy the way we addressed any significant loss?

What if we talked about it and expressed our sincerest condolences instead of awkwardly fumbling for the right words — or not even talking about it at all?

What if we said things like this?

"I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I'm here. Always."

Dr. Jessica Zucker shared these empathy cards with me and gave me permission to share with you! It's available here.

When we're short on words, a card is usually a safe bet. But when it comes to condolence cards for the loss of a pregnancy or a stillbirth, let's just be honest: the pickings are slim.

That's why Dr. Jessica Zucker, a clinical psychologist who specializes in women's reproductive and maternal mental health — and someone who experienced a traumatic miscarriage herself — introduced these pitch-perfect pregnancy loss empathy cards.

She wants women to be able to talk about and have their grief acknowledged.

"My aim," Zucker explained to me in a phone conversation, "is to help shift the cultural conversation — and lack of it — around miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth."

And culturally, we often reach out with cards, which is why it feels like a pretty amazing thing — to create cards for this kind of loss.

Whether it's with cards that share heartfelt affirmations...

"The last thing you probably want to hear right now is 'I know exactly how you feel,' 'This happens for a reason,' 'Be grateful for what you have.' Pop in earplugs, drown out the noise, be surrounded by loving support — people who get it. I may not always know the right thing to say, but I'm going to try. I love you like crazy." Available here.


"Grief knows no timeline. Take all the time you need. If you wan to rest, do. If you want to scream, do. If you want to distract yourself, do. If you want to cry, do. If you want to stuff your face, do. If you want to hibernate, do. If you want to go on an adventure, do. If you want to call me morning, noon and night, do. Be gentle with yourself. Do." Available here.

...or with cards that own our discomfort with something we've inadvertently been taught to be uncomfortable with...

"I'm sorry I've been MIA. I didn't know what to say. I'll do better. I am here." Available here.

...these empathy cards say what needs to be said. They acknowledge that sometimes, we need to call it like it is.


"Fuck: 'This is God's plan.' Fuck: 'Everything happens for a reason.' Fuck: 'Time erases pain.' #FuckLoss. Fuck: 'At least you know you can get pregnant.' Fuck: 'It wasn't meant to be.' Fuck Heartbreak." Available here.

"I imagine you feel like shit right now. But I just had to remind you how wonderful I think you are." Available here.

Oh, and how about a card that acknowledges that even though the loss might be common, every woman's experience is utterly unique?

"#IHadAMiscarriage. Everyone has a different experience. I understand." Available here.

The cards each say something different, but the bigger message behind them is the same: Mourning the loss of a pregnancy is difficult. And it's only made more difficult when we suffer or respond with silence.

There's a reason we have an especially hard time discussing this kind of loss. As Zucker explains, out-of-order losses are difficult to process. "It's one thing to talk about an elderly person, a grandparent, passing away," she says. "We know the rights and rituals that take place around that kind of loss."

But when it's about the loss of a wanted pregnancy or a stillbirth, people don't know how to react. Unlike the parents, others haven't formed a relationship with the fetus. What do we say? How do we behave?

She also points out that we're just not looking at pregnancy loss as normative in our culture — but we should. "If twenty-some percent of pregnancies end in loss, this isn't going anywhere," she told me. "It's not like this is a disease and we're not looking for some sort of cure. This is molecular biology, and this is what happens when we endeavor to create life. We risk being vulnerable to losing life. We risk not being in control."

So what if we could we could get more comfortable with this kind of loss and be a source of support for grieving would-be parents?

Zucker says she knows these are "just cards," but she hopes it's a good beginning.

These cards are an antidote to "I didn't know what to say." And we should say something! "We can't have a miscarriage by talking about miscarriage," Zucker says. "You cannot experience a pregnancy loss just by talking about pregnancy loss."

But we can provide support and condolences to our friends and family members who are grieving. And at the end of the day, isn't that what being human is all about?

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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

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The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

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Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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