Why It Is Important To Talk About Pregnancy And Infant Loss

October 9, 2017

By Sanda Rathamone

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Founded just 3 years after Breast Cancer Awareness, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month was to help lessen the stigma on sharing experiences concerning miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant loss.

"Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 25, 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.'

(From:  Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep)

Below, I made a list on why it's important to talk about Pregnancy and Infant Loss: 
  • Talking about it helps parents find and receive support (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually). 
    • Parents of loss need a safe environment to grieve
    • Help those who may consider suicide 
    • Being heard is the most simple and helpful way to heal
    • Friends and family are often the first people they need support from
  • Talking about it reveals to others that they are not alone. 
    • Many parents will often feel alone with their thoughts and emotions or misunderstood 
    • Parents may worry that they cannot cope after loss or know what to do
    • Many feel lost, confused, or uncertain
  • Talking about it provides others with an awareness. 
    • Spread information
    • Help prepare and provide resources for others and yourself
    • Know that this can happen to anyone
    • Understand how to become better at providing support 
  • Talking about it is acknowledging that they are also parents. 
    • Many parents struggle with identity issues and feel excluded, especially on holidays like Mother's and Father's Day
    • They may be highly self-critical and struggle with feelings of unworthiness  
    • They may struggle with feelings of emptiness 
  • Talking about it using different kinds of outlets helps parents through the grieving process. 
    • Freedom to be creative and expressive decreases stress and depression
    • Being open about grief is the process of "letting go" and "acceptance"
    • Parents can connect with others through shared experiences or hobbies 
    • Provide parents with a variety of ways to grieve that is suitable to their needs 

Most importantly, talking about it lessens the unnecessary misconceptions and silencing of pregnancy and infant loss. Pregnancy, infant, and child loss is WORLDWIDE. Let's talk about it.

"Remember what it felt like to be excluded so that you can help build a community where everyone is included."

With love,
Must Read: 
 Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

Photo: maxpixel

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