- 1 in every 4 pregnancies end in 𝙈𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙚 (loss up to 20 wks gestation)
- 6 babies are 𝙎𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙗𝙤𝙧𝙣 everyday
- Approximately 2 𝙉𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝘿𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙨 occur each day (loss following birth up to 28 days old)
- Up to 150 babies die from SIDS each year
Pregnancy & Infant Loss doesn’t discriminate. We all know someone who knows someone that has lost a pregnancy/baby.
As a society we don’t do death well, let alone the death of a baby/infant.
When a woman or family lose a pregnancy/baby their grief is often disenfranchised which means that they are denied the right openly acknowledge or mourn their loss. As a result, pregnancy and infant loss is often misunderstood by those who are fortunate enough to not experience it.
As a result, this often causes the Bereaved Mother and family to become isolated in both their loss and grief.
We need to stop measuring a woman or family’s grief by the gestation at which they lost their baby. Love cannot be measured in days or weeks. Loss is loss regardless of gestation or circumstance and all pregnancy & infant losses are heartbreaking.
October is the official month of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness.
The 15th October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Both of these important events are acknowledged globally.
Whilst Bereaved Parents live with the fact that their child has died for every day of every year,
October is a special opportunity to shine a light on Pregnancy & Infant Loss. Its sacred and special month that we acknowledge and honour all babies who left us far too soon.
This year, for the first time in history, Victorian Parliament is formally acknowledging Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day (15 October) which is really exciting for all parents who have lost a pregnancy/baby/infant. Its acknowledgement of not only their journey but also their loss and grief. It’s also acknowledging that their much loved and wanted child existed. He/She was real and they mattered.
The Spiritual Health Association supported by Victorian Government and Safer Care Victoria are holding a Remembrance Day Service on Tuesday 15th October at Melbourne Museum in Carlton. The event commences at 7.00pm and all are welcome to attend. Both Paul and myself are attending and we have proudly supplied Safer Care Victoria with hundreds of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Ribbons which will be worn by all staff at the event on the night.
My partner Paul Lyons and I have lost 11 consecutive pregnancies/babies including 3 stillbirths, 6 miscarriages and identical twin girls who passed away from cord entanglement. Heartbreakingly we still have empty arms.
Our journey motivated us to become passionate advocates for Pregnancy & Infant Loss. In mid 2016 we created a social enterprise called Memories of an Angel (MOAA). MOAA provides support and services to the women & families who experience loss. We also design and distribute a variety of awareness merchandise such as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Ribbons, Pins & Wristbands.
We are passionate about ensuring that the women and families who experience the loss of a pregnancy/child are acknowledged, heard and supported as best as possible.
12 week rule
I strongly believe that the 12 week rule is outdated and should be abolished. Instead we should focus on ensuring that all women feel empowered to announce their pregnancy at whatever point they are comfortable to do so, and know that regardless of gestation or circumstance, they will be supported.
Last year I participated in a participated in an ABC Podcast with Yumi Stynes called “Ladies we need to talk about the 12 week rule”. The podcast discussed the origins and pros and cons of the 12 week rule.
Additionally I have just finalised an article with The Age which is going to print this Sunday which discusses Miscarriage and relevance of the 12 week rule in todays society.
Others doing good within the Loss Community
There are many smaller organisations (like ours) that exist in addition to the major loss organisations such as Sands, Red Nose etc. These smaller organisations and NFPs are built by Bereaved Parents who know the heartbreak that is the loss of a pregnancy/child and who genuinely want to contribute to society. They want to ensure that anyone who follows in their footsteps by losing a pregnancy/child will be supported as best as possible.
Kate & John De’Laney from Perth are a prime example of this.
Following a string of personal losses they have passionately advocated for formal acknowledgment of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day (15 October) within Australia for many years.
Additionally, they have been working on a project which will see over 60 landmarks, buildings and monuments light up in Pink & Blue (the official pregnancy & infant loss ribbon colours) on 15 October in a bid to raise increased awareness and ignite further discussion about Pregnancy & Infant Loss.
Some of the venues include: MCG in Melbourne, Optus Stadium in Perth, Telstra Tower in Canberra, Adelaide Oval, Sydney Town Hall.
For a full list please head to Pregnancy & Infant Loss Australia FB Page.