National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed annually in the United States on October 15. On this day we remember pregnancy loss and infant death related to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS or the death of a newborn. This day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle lighting vigils.
One in four women will have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss in their lifetime. Over 80% of miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is estimated that stillbirth affects approximately 1% of all pregnancies, and each year approximately 24,000 babies are stillborn in the US. This is approximately the same number of babies that pass in the first year of life and is more than 10 times as many deaths as the number that occur from SIDS.
Many families suffer in silence and long to know they are not alone on this difficult journey. Many struggle to come to terms with this significant loss. The loss of a child stays with parents, family members, and friends forever. Events across the country help others to better support and empathize with parents on their healing journey. Through this awareness month, families are given the opportunity to remember these babies and climate the isolation of grief. It allows families to bring awareness to a difficult and little spoken about topic and provides hope for the future.
While many families grieve deeply over these losses, many women do not expect to experience Postpartum Depression or Anxiety after this loss. Many believe the emotions they are experiencing are due to grief, when it is entirely possible they could be suffering from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder as well.
If you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, struggle with a perinatal mood disorder, or are grieving the loss of a baby of a loved one, we at Counseling Works are here to help.
Written by Shannon Merkin