The month of October is designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It’s a unique opportunity to commemorate the lives of new-borns who died during pregnancy or shortly after birth. The purpose of Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month is to raise awareness, remembrance, and support for the estimated 1 in every 4 individuals and families whose lives are irreversibly changed by the death of their children during pregnancy, birth, or infancy.
Pregnancy and infant loss is a frequent experience that has been made more difficult in the past by widely held societal and cultural taboos to remain silent, a condition that the World Health Organization urges changing in favour of open speech.
An increasing number of public people have spoken out in favour of open expression such as country singer Carrie Underwood and Oscar award winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, with many leading by example by sharing their personal stories of miscarriage and child death.
“Life need not be long-lived for it to be meaningful”.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is recognised in the UK, Canada, the US, and Australia. Since the early 2000s, the holiday has gained in popularity. Candlelight vigils and a Wave of Light, a worldwide lighting of buildings and monuments, are part of the day of commemoration.
Advocates believe that a formalised day of observance raises public awareness and encourages more research and understanding, which will aid in the development and implementation of programmes, resources, and services to support and assist baby loss survivors and their families in overcoming their trauma and integrating their loss into their lives in a healthy way.
How to go about it?
For everyone involved, the death of a child is a painful subject. Finding the appropriate words to say to extended family members is often the most challenging task. One method to assist your family member is to not underestimate the magnitude of their pain, because everyone grieves differently. It may appear odd to assist family members during the loss of a child. However, it is critical to express your condolences to the parents. It’s critical to make yourself available to talk.
Ways to participate:
- On October 15, join Pregnancy After Loss Support for a virtual Wave of Light Remembrance Ceremony in honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
- Donate to Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS).
- Use the hashtag #KnowOurBabies to share your baby’s story on social media.
- Seek out your own help. If you have suffered a loss and require assistance, this month might serve as a reminder that you are entitled to it. There are many tools available to support you, whether it’s a support group, therapy, or connecting online with other women with similar experiences.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart”.Helen Keller