I imagine if you have ever heard about national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day, you or someone you know has experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Let me first say I am truly sorry that these circumstances have occurred in your life. I personally have went through the heartache of seven pregnancy losses including my 21-week loss of my daughter Mackenzie. It can be draining emotionally and physically. And, often there are no words or actions to console the pain of loss.
What’s harder is that it can be so difficult for a mother, who has went through such an ordeal to express herself. And, dads are not exempt either. I am definitely not a person that always communicate my feelings and emotions well with the people I love the most. However, once I learned about the national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day, I have found such a deep connection to it. I make it a point to share about this day socially, and it helps me talk about my experience.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day: A Time of Remembrance
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is designed to acknowledge the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or at any time during infancy for any reason.President Ronald Reagan recognized October as National Pregnancy Loss and Infant Awareness Month in 1988. October 15th is the designated day each year to honor national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
Families and organizations across the country and around the world use this time to honor these children, who were gone too soon as well as raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss. And, local communities coordinate walks and other activities to help bereaved families celebrate their children.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Statistics
According to the CDC, “About 1 pregnancy in 100 at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later is affected by stillbirth, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.” The CDC also reported that more than 3,000 sudden unexpected infant deaths occured in 2017. March of Dimes website says that nearly 15% of pregnancies can end in miscarriage. The National Share organization cites that up to 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss.
No matter the age of the baby or the cause of death, pregnancy and infant loss is traumatic for parents and their extended families and friends.
The Importance of Miscarriage Remembrance
Miscarriage remembrance is important, because it is a way to acknowledge your loss. If you have trouble expressing your feelings, the activities that you do around national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day can help. By honoring the memory of your baby, it is letting your loved ones know that the loss did have an impact on you. It may actually help them feel comfortable about opening up a conversation.
Sometimes, it can be hard for a loss parent to deal or validate their own feelings. In my own experience, I have found that I never want another miscarriage survivor to feel alone and it is easier for me to support others. So, I share on national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day to not only honor my journey and Mackenzie, but I pray that it helps someone else along the way.
Miscarriage Awareness Colors
Light blue and pink are associated with pregnancy and infant loss awareness. You can find a lot of different items designed in the miscarriage awareness colors and just for this occasion.
When I started my blog, I kinda fell into the colors of pink and blue. I had not started participating in pail awareness day activities, when I chose them.Once I learned of the awareness colors, I knew it was important for me to keep these colors as a part of my blog. It was just another way for me to acknowledge my losses. And, you can find different ways to incorporate them too.
Activities for October 15th Infant Loss Remembrance Day
I started participating in activities for October 15th in 2015. It was honestly the most beautiful thing I had done to acknowledge my prenatal journey and honor the babies I lost. Since then, I have found numerous ways (including my blog colors) to participate in pregnancy and infant loss awareness. I hope you find the list below helpful
Poems for Infant Loss Awareness
Putting your thoughts to pen and paper can help you participate in national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. If you are not ready to express yourself in this way, there are also plenty of poems for angel babies in heaven that can be found online.
This year, I decided to acknowledge national pail awareness day through a poem. I felt led to write Dare to Remember, in hopes that it would help others not feel ashamed about their pregnancy loss and the desire to recognize their angel babies.
Many communities host remembrance walks for their families on or near October 15th for pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. You may be able to find a walk at october15th.com. Check your local newspaper or search your community’s Facebook group page to also find information.
Donate in the Honor of your Angel Babies
If you have a hospital or organization that was instrumental in the care of your child, consider a donation for national pail day.
I am thankful for organizations such as the Hope Clinic for Women and the National Share organization. They are dedicated to helping women and families grieve and heal from pregnancy and infant loss. I know these organizations would be happy to accept a donation.
Wave of Light on October 15th
Whatever your local time maybe, family and friends are encouraged to light a candle in honor of their loss children at 7 p.m. on October 15th for national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. It is described as a wave of light, because candles will be burning through out the country and world continuously.
Listen to Stories
If you attend an event for pail awareness day, you will hear stories from men, women and children to honor their loved one. However, if you can’t make it to an event, you could find videos and podcasts for stories from miscarriage survivors. I was fortunate to be a guest on the Sisters in Loss podcast to describe the loss of Mackenzie and my miscarriages.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Shirts
Last year, I designed some Pregnancy and Loss Awareness shirts in honor of my seven pregnancy losses. I am not able to always speak about my feelings around the loss of Mackenzie and all of the miscarriages. But, I try to provide those emotions in my writing and things I create for national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. This year, I decided to spruce up the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness shirts. If you feel so inclined, you can grab one in the Shop.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Ribbon
You can use a pregnancy and infant loss awareness ribbon to show that you were affected by loss. I found some beautiful ribbon at Dollar Tree last year. Others just have the pink and blue ribbon added on to specialty items.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Bracelets and Memorial Items
Keepsake items are things that you can wear or put in and around your home to remember your child. There are a number of jewelry items that you may find beautiful to wear on national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. You can find inexpensive items like pregnancy and infant loss awareness bracelets that are made out of silicone by searching online.
There are some interesting items on Etsy for this occasion. My husband loves to wear his dogtag necklace to honor Mackenzie everyday.
If you are already on social media, you can easily share hashtags, pregnancy and infant loss awareness statistics, and more. Some popular hashtags include #waveoflight, #ihavefootprintsonmyheart #gopinkandblue. I have also used temporary frames on Facebook to support national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
If you feel comfortable sharing your story or pictures surrounding your own experience, why not do it for this occasion. You never know, who else may be willing to open up because of you
Feel free to download my poem sand use my graphic in honor of national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. (Please reference my blog and post, if you decide to use the items.)
Honor Your Babies Throughout National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
October 15th is a great start to share your story and honor your angel baby. But, you may be inspired to do more. Since the month is recognized as national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month feel free to use other days to acknowledge your love for your child. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation has a calendar of ideas to participate all month long.
National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day: Celebrate Your Way
Participate in national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day in a way that feels comfortable to you. Don’t feel obligated to do all ten things on the list. Maybe, there is one activity that will help make a difference in your life. I know that healing and grief looks different for everyone. So, take your time and try out things when you are ready.
I pray that God blesses you and provides you with peace that surpasseth all understanding.
Your Sister in Christ,
READ THESE ARTICLES FOR FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT
Coping with Miscarriage a Lonely Road by Peaches & Prayer
While We Waited: Lessons Through Fertility by Chronicles of Momia
Grieving A Miscarriage by Samantha Wiraatmaja
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day