Remembering
Our Little Ones

Those who have lost a pregnancy or baby often suffer in silence. October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and the 15th is a day set aside for all grieving families to come together in remembrance of their pregnancies and babies.

A sad woman

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child,” reads his proclamation. “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.”

October 15

Robyn Bear founded www.october15.com in hopes that bereaved parents would have a day to come together. At 7 pm, those affected are encouraged to light a candle in remembrance of their loss. Her goal was to not bring these families together, but to show how they could be supported by their communities as well as how friends and family members can express their support without being dismissive.

The objective is for parents to learn to live with their loss -- not get over it.

Light a candle

"Every life, no matter how briefly they were with us, deserves to be remembered"

The objective of October 15th is to light a candle everywhere, in every time zone, at 7 pm, and leave it burning for one hour to create a wave of light around the world for one day as we remember what we’ve lost. Many parents will light a virtual candle -- use a photo or graphic of a candle as their Facebook profile picture, for example.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was designed because every life, no matter how briefly they were with us, deserves to be remembered. We who have lost a baby will never forget, and this way everyone can help us remember our baby’s life.

Count the Kicks

After learning that Norway had dramatically reduced its still birth rates by conducting a public health campaign on kick counting, five Iowa mothers, who lost babies to late-term stillbirth or infant death, started a campaign in Iowa called Count The Kicks in 2009. The campaign recommends that parents contact their health providers right away if they notice significant changes in their babies’ movements, and was developed to prevent late-term birth complications and stillbirths. Scientific studies indicate that counting kicks by making a daily record of a baby’s movements (kicks, rolls, punches, jabs) during the third trimester, is an easy, free and reliable way to monitor a baby’s well-being in addition to regular prenatal visits.

To learn more about Count the Kicks, visit the website at www.countthekicks.com.

More on loss

How common are miscarriages and why do they happen?
The devastation of stillbirth
Conception after loss: When should you try to get pregnant again?

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