Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 15, 1988. On this day, 33 years ago, President Reagan 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.”
While a family’s grieving is never consolidated to just one month, recognizing October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month gives us a dedicated time to pause and remember those who have lost a child during pregnancy or infancy.
It’s estimated that 1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery or infancy. During the perinatal bereavement period, no matter the nature, this loss is one represented by both the physical and symbolic aspects, often including the family’s hopes and dreams.
Support and Resources
At Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), we believe bereavement care should encompass spiritual and emotional support, as well as awareness of how cultures grieve the loss of an infant. Recognizing that the care provided to those experiencing this type of loss can set the stage for the entire family’s grieving process, we aim to provide a place of understanding and support that meets our patients and families where they are.
Led by a registered nurse and chaplain who specialize in the care of women and families experiencing perinatal loss, our comprehensive bereavement program at NGMC provides a safe space for parents to grieve and offers an interdisciplinary approach to coordinating patient care, birth planning for babies with life-limiting diagnoses and memory making.
Our program extends beyond the walls of our building. While we provide the resources above, we also want to continue to walk alongside you on your path to healing. We invite you to join us on Sunday, November 14, 2021, as we host a virtual service to remember and honor the lives of children gone too soon.