October is the official month for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, an important time to recognize families and individuals who have suffered such a loss. Additionally, October 15th is recognized as the World Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 15, 1988. On that day 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.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
Tragically, over 22,000 infants died in the United States in 2017. The five leading causes were birth defects, preterm birth, maternal pregnancy complications, Sudden infant death syndrome, and injuries. In addition, Stillbirth (affecting about 1 in 100 pregnancies) and miscarriages contribute to many more.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month recognizes these bereaved families in an effort to demonstrate support to those who have suffered this tragic loss. It not only educates the public about ways to support these families but also advocating for ways to help prevent these losses.
It is just as important to remember our nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers who are at the forefront of care for many of these individuals. It is important to recognize and support their grief as well as providing ways to support them in caring for these families.
Please join us in showing support to these families, healthcare providers, and individuals who have suffered a tragic pregnancy loss and/or infant death.
Perinatal Loss Resources for Providers
Experiences for Nurses Care For Women After Perinatal Loss
Bereavement Support: For Families, Friends, Children, and Providers
Dealing with Grief After the Death of Your Baby
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