“Is this your first?”
You have no idea what their past pregnancy history is and in case of the mom who just experienced a loss, the answer is no. There could have been several stillbirths, miscarriages, abortions, terminations for medical reasons and children that have died. It’s just better not to ask this question.
“Do you want a girl or a boy?”
A living, breathing and healthy child is all she really desires. For instance, if the mother kissed goodbye to a girl, she might wish for another girl to help deal with all of her dreams she had while anticipating a girl or the hope of having another girl might make her despair stricken and fill with dismay and then maybe she would want a boy. Or if she lost a boy, maybe she doesn’t want another boy because she doesn’t want to even contemplate the idea that another boy could occur into her life and she might lose him too. Yes, it’s a complicated question.
“How many kids do you already have?”
Just don’t ask this. From a pregnancy loss mom, this subject is startling and agonizing to answer for someone who doesn’t know you well. Here’s what appears in her mind, “Do I say one? But then I have to advise this stranger that my first child pass away or that I had a miscarriage. That might get blundering. Or do I say none? But then, I would be selling out my child’s memory by not bringing her up. I really hope they didn’t have asked.”
“Stay positive, it will all work out.”
She most probably know she should stay positive, but pregnancy is hard and she can feel how she wants and she can tell you from personal experience that sometimes things don’t work the way she wanted to all the time.
“Are you excited?”
Definitely, she’s excited. But she’s also terrified and confused. Her whole life is about to change, and she’s hopeful it’s for the better. It’s just a lot to process and sometimes, to be honest, she’s just terrified that this child might die, too. She’s trying to make it through each second of each day.
“Maybe you’ll have better luck this time.”
This is just blunt. Please don’t say it. Losses don’t occur to people because some people are more fortunate than the other.
“At least, you’re getting a replacement.”
No way! No child can be replaced by another. There’s no better way to say this because this is just so wrong.
“There was probably something wrong with your last baby. This one will be different.”
It’s not something for you to conclude. Unfortunately, even healthy babies die, too. And even if something is wrong with her child, it doesn’t make losing them easier.
“Are you doing anything differently this time?”
This question just implies that her baby’s death was somehow her fault. This is a very sensitive topic for her, show a little bit sensitivity. The death of her baby wasn’t her fault. We don’t need any added mommy guilt during a stressful time like this.