Everyone (unless you live under a rock) knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but most don't know that October is also Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Specifically, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, officially recognized in both the US and Canada. I'm not sure yet how Tyge and I will recognize and remember our loss, but since we'll be in the corn fields of South Dakota pheasant hunting with family I can imagine we'll take a quiet moment away and say a prayer of gratitude for the short time we had Petrie.
I found the some great information on Pregnancy/Infant Loss via the website I am the Face and thought I'd share. When I first found out about the miscarriage I did have some guilt and wondered if it was something I had done to cause it to happen. Of course, in my heart I knew then and fully realize now that's in NO way true. However, it's amazing to me what some people believe "causes" miscarriage - there are a lot of misconceptions out there that I'd like to help put to rest. Please take a moment and read below:
One out of every four women will experience the loss of a baby at some point in their lives. That’s right–25%! Pregnancy/infant loss is an issue that while very common, is rarely talked about. Because it’s become such a “hush-hush” and taboo topic, those who experience it are often left to grieve in silence, alone.
It’s time for things to change.
It’s time to open up the conversation, to get the dialogue started. It’s time for survivors (yes, we are all survivors!) to come together, raise our voices, and reach out to the others who are out there, thinking they are alone.
The first step in breaking the silence is often shattering stereotypes. Below are some myths and facts about pregnancy/infant loss:
Myth: Losing a baby is very uncommon; it won’t happen to me or someone I know.
Myth: Pregnancy/infant loss is something that happens to older moms, overweight moms, or moms with health issues.
- 25-50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (pregnancy.org).
- Stillbirths (the death of a baby after 20 weeks gestation) occur in one in every 160 pregnancies–about 60 stillborn babies every single day (March of Dimes).
- Each year, in the US alone, about 20,000 babies die in their first month of life, many after being born prematurely (March of Dimes).
- SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants ages 1 month to 1 year.
Truth: “Baby loss” does not discriminate. Often, it’s young, perfectly healthy women who experience the loss of a baby. Click here to read real-life stories of loss, and you’ll see the faces of ALL kinds of women–young, old, black, white, thin, obese–pregnancy/infant loss can strike anyone.
Myth: Miscarriages and Stillbirths are usually caused by a lack of prenatal care or something else the mother did during her pregnancy.
- Almost 100% of miscarriages could not have been prevented, with the majority being caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
- 25% of Stillbirths are caused by placental problems; 15% are caused by an infection; 2-4% are caused by umbilical cord problems, and 50% have no known cause of death whatsoever. While there are risk factors to be aware of (smoking, for instance), the overwhelming majority of stillbirths are completely out of the mother’s control.
Truth: While this may be true for some, many are dying to talk about the child they lost, especially if it was a late-term pregnancy loss or infant loss. The chance to talk freely about their baby(ies), without feeling like they are making everyone uncomfortable, is something many, many women who have lost a baby wish for.
Truth: I am the one in four women who will experience pregnancy/infant loss. I am one of the 2,000 faces affected by pregnancy/infant loss everyday. Please go to http://www.iamtheface.org/ to show your support, join the movement, and to learn more about this incredibly common, yet incredibly taboo issue.