October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The NIH reports that up to 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth.
History of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
In 1988 Ronald Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. He said ““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. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”
This month has become a time to remember the precious lives that were lost too soon. It also opens the conversation and creates awareness around pregnancy and infant loss. This month enables us as individuals and communities to learn how we can support bereaved parents and families.
In addition to the month of October, in 2002 Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown and Tammy Novak, three mothers who have all experienced loss, began a movement to gain support from all 50 states to recognize October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Their goal was to have a specific day each year when bereaved parents can come together to remember the cherished babies they have lost.
Thanks to their efforts, in 2016 all 50 states proclaimed October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Now on October 15th millions light a candle creating a global wave of light to remember all the babies that have died too soon.
Supporting Families During a Loss
One way to support families as they experience a loss is to provide meaningful mementos and keepsakes for them to take home with them. The most effective of these keepsakes are “linking objects.”. Linking objects are tangible items, usually a personal item from a loved one. These items are usually an article of clothing, jewelry, or another treasure item that connects them to a lost loved one.
With an early loss, most families may not have many tangible objects they feel are truly connected to their baby. This is what makes ClayLinks Kits a cherished keepsake amongst families. ClayLinks Clay was made to be held and touched giving families a tangible keepsake unique to their babies’ hand or foot impression.
Often times with premature babies it is not possible to get a deep or detailed impression in clay. In situations like these, you can use our Ink Pads for Preemie Kits. Our ink is non-toxic and child safe. When paired with our ClayLinks Clay the ink is smudge proof and water-resistant once dried and baked.
Another simple yet effective way for your team to express their care and compassion is with our Heart Touchstones. These stones can be held, touched and carried in a pocket. These stones serve as a tangible reminder of healing and loss.
Our Heart Touchstones can also be given to your staff to show your commitment to their mental and emotional health.
Thanks for all you do,