Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day - October 15th.

Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988, offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems.
~Ronald Reagan 1988

It isn't something you discuss over lunch with your co-workers. It isn't something most people think about at all, unless they've experienced the loss of a child. Those that have think about it all the time, and yet, we don't discuss it as we'd like - it creates such a level of discomfort in those around us that we learn to hold our tongues. Actually, when we lose our baby(ies), we often lose friends as well because people just don't know how to deal with or discuss this extremely painful and tragic occurrence in our lives.

The result is that the silence continues. People remain uneducated to how to help those who are dealing with the grief, while bereaved parents remain isolated in their grief and feeling pain and loneliness that lead to guilt. Guilt and frustration that our children have become less human in the eyes of others, that they seem to become secrets, taboo, a shameful subject we aren't welcome to discuss.

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and I for one, am going to do my part to end this painful cycle. It is a phenomena that grieving parents shouldn't have to face. Our children deserve to be recognized and acknowledged, and only through public awareness can that happen.

It's estimated that nearly half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, not to mention deaths caused by illness, injury, Prematurity, Cerebral Palsy, SIDS or birth defects, so chances are that either you, or someone close to you, has lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. Each of those children have parents and grandparents who are left devastated by the death, and alone in the shadows to deal with their pain in silence. Raise your voice today in an effort to make our children's lives matter.

Do your part to shed some light on our pain so that we don't feel the shame so often associated with our tragic loss. Wear a pin, put a magnet on your car, Attend a candlelight vigil or march, or just talk to someone about it today, you might just be surprised to find out that the person you talk to has lost a child, and by how much they'll appreciate your gesture.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Car Magnet

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Approx. 3 7/8" x 8"

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