Hey everyone. It’s National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
I wanted to take this time to spread awareness on pregnancy and infant loss to those who may not be familiar.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month raises awareness of the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth, and in infancy. This sheds light on the need for support, encourages people to talk about the matter, brings together a community of families, and honors the babies who have passed.
Each day, babies die from miscarriages, stillbirth, SIDS, and other tragedies. It’s important to note that in these circumstances, although the loss may have occurred in the womb or shortly after birth, the parents have already bonded with their baby and will always have emotional connections with their baby.
Some people feel that it’s “just a baby” and that moms and dads can just “get over it” quicker compared to when a different family member passes. But this is just not the case!
I want to stress that it is so important to support people who have gone through such tragedies of losing a fetus, infant, baby (whichever term you’re more comfortable using). At the end of the day, someone lost an important aspect of their life that they held near and dear to their heart. This can be devastating to parents during this moment, and still cause them to feel weary even years thereafter.
When I first started my nursing career, I sometimes struggled on what to say or how to react to parents who lost an infant, had a miscarriage, or a stillbirth. But I quickly realized it’s not what you say or do, it’s how you make them feel. I would provide parents with as much comfort, support, and time to grieve as they needed. At times, I would even go to the bathroom or breakroom and silently pray for parents, their mental well-being, and their families. & that’s the advice that I’m giving you in remembrance of this month: offer comfort to those who have experienced a loss. There’s no “right” way to do this. But just simply tell them that you’re thinking of them, they’re in your prayers, and you’re here for support whenever.
If this has affected you or any loved ones that you know, I have included information on resources below. Support groups can guide those who are going through a loss and provide an opportunity to talk through emotions with a partner, friend, counselor, or spiritual leader.