Is it just me or does it seem like infertility is a much more common struggle?
I don't know if it's because we're getting older and realize it more, or if it's truly something that more women are going through way too regularly. I'm at the age where many of my closest friends have attempted to grow their families only to suffer losing an unborn child. It's heartbreaking for me so I can't even fathom how devastating it is for them.
While it seems impossible for me to be there for them because there's no way I can understand, it's not completely out of the question. It's really just about knowing your friend and what she needs from you, if anything.
Here's a few things you can do for your friend to support her after experiencing a miscarriage:
Pray For Her.
Pray with her, when she's not around, and especially when she doesn't ask you to; because in some cases, she won't. Depending on when she shares this news with you, prayer could be the furthest thing from her mind as her pain and devastation take over. That's where your strength comes in to help her out.
Whether it's over the phone, in person, or even through text messages, don't just be a person who says, "Oh girl, I'm praying for you." I think it means more when you actually do it consistently and constantly. She might not tell you she needs it, but there will definitely be indescribably tough moments when your prayers will help her through.
Give Her Hope.
I remember when a girl I didn't know that well told me she and her husband suffered a miscarriage around the time her father-in-law passed away. Talk about unspeakable heartbreak and devastation. I then shared that some of my really close friends had lost their unborn child but now have amazingly healthy and beautiful children.
It was really an encouragement for her to hear that just because she had a miscarriage, didn't mean that she shouldn't have hope to be a mother one day. Now I can add her to that list of my friends who have children because she and husband now have the most adorable baby girl. No matter what it looks like for your friend, give her constant encouragement that there's hope for her too.
I know I said to pray for her and give her hope, which are both really important factors. But there are also times when she just needs you to listen.
There's a time for prayer and encouragement, but there's also a time when you have to be the silent version of yourself and listen to her heart. When she's finished, that might not necessarily be an invitation for you to share your piece, thoughts, and opinions. Instead, just let her know that you love her, that you're here for her whenever she needs you, and give her a hug. It's not the solution to everything, but it will certainly help.
Be Supportive In the Way She Needs.
While it's so easy to try and give other options of how your friend can become a mother in hopes of healing her pain, that might not be the best idea based on the type of person she is. Yes, the ideas of adoption and having a surrogate are very possible ways she can live out her dream to be a mom, but that doesn't take away from the fact that her world has been crushed as she lost her child that she developed an unspeakable bond with.
While those options are possibilities, they might not seem the same to her. At least not in the moment. But if she does choose to go that route, you can be the best friend in the world by supporting her decision to the fullest if or when she finally decides.
Realize You Can’t Fix It.
When you have a best friend experiencing something negative, it's only natural to jump into "that's my best friend" mode and want to fix it. Unfortunately, this isn't the same as some girl coming for her on social media. In this situation, there's absolutely nothing we can do to fix it, and sometimes that's the worst thing about it.
There's no need to say, "Oh girl I wish there was something I can do," because it just brings light to the fact that you really can't be there for her in the way you want. Instead, just being a listening ear for her. Letting her know you've got her back might be the best solution.
Ask Her What She Needs.
Sometimes, as much as we know our friend, we have no idea what they need in the moment. Sometimes, even she won't know what she needs. But when you ask, you're at least letting her know that whatever it is, you got her.
It might be something as simple as taking her children for the day or covering for her shift at work if she needs alone time. I think as long as you're ready to do a huge favor, or even no favor at all, asking her what you can do for her is just one of the ways you can help your friend after her loss.
Whether it's taking her out for a girls' night or staying in with a Netflix binge and ice cream, do something special for her. It might not take her mind off of it, but she will know that she's surrounded by an amazing support system. It will confirm to her that you really are that ride or die friend she's known you to be all along.
While she might look back at her loss and difficult time and feel sad all over again, it's very possible that she'll also remember you were there for her when she needed you the most.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- 10 Nice Things to do for a Friend After a Miscarriage ›
- How to Support Someone After a Miscarriage | Focus on the Family ›
- Supporting someone who has had a miscarriage | Tommy's ›
- How to Support a Friend Going Through Miscarriage: 14 Steps ›
- Helping Someone After a Miscarriage – Miscarriage Support NZ ›
- How To Be A Friend To Someone Who Has Had A Miscarriage ›
- How to help someone after a miscarriage or loss – expert reveals ... ›
- How to help a friend through a miscarriage - INSIDER ›
- 5 Ways To Support A Friend After Miscarriage | HuffPost Life ›
- After a Miscarriage: Supporting Friends & Family Through Loss ›
Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images