October is well known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and unless you’re a sufferer, you most likely don’t know that it’s also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October as the month to honor those who have lost their children. Furthermore, October 15th has been further distinguished as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” (Reagan)
The statistics revolving around Pregnancy and Infant Loss are absolutely devastating and most people have no idea how common it is until it happens to them or a close friend or family member. Every year, out of the approximate 600,000 pregnancies, almost 200,000 of them end in some type of loss either while pregnant, during delivery, or within the first year of life. TWO. HUNDRED. THOUSAND. And that number isn’t even totally accurate because a percent of those losses occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
My recent miscarriage (you can read about my story here) brought a whole new meaning to the month of October for me. So here I am, battling with my own emotions, again wanting to ensure that women know they’re not alone. I know how it is and I know how it feels. If it takes me having to slap my heart on my sleeve to help 200,000+ women feel more comfortable, then that is what I will do.
“By keeping these discussions taboo, we rob people of the basic support and understanding necessary to deal with their loss. By keeping these discussions taboo, we force women and families to suffer in silence.” – Tara Moss
There are resources out there that offer support. You don’t have to remain silent. Don’t be ashamed to reach out and ask for help or to simply share your story. That’s what these organizations are there for, they understand.
- Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
- Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND)
- Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB)
- The Miscarriage Association
- MISS Foundation
On October 15th, from 7PM-8PM in all timezones, families will light a candle in remembrance of all of the sweet babies gone too soon. Joining in this National Tribute will not only help raise awareness but show support to those who you don’t know may be suffering silently.
Who will you be lighting a candle for?