The day par­ents ac­knowl­edge a pre­cious loss

Daily Mercury - - WEEKEND -

ABOUT 96,000 Aus­tralian fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­ence the death of a baby each year.

To­mor­row is In­ter­na­tional Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Re­mem­brance Day. De­spite the ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, re­search and medicine in the last decade, the rates of early preg­nancy loss, still­birth and new­born deaths have not changed, says SANDS Aus­tralia CEO An­dre Car­vahlo.

“In­ter­na­tional Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Re­mem­brance Day gives par­ents an of­fi­cial op­por­tu­nity to ac­knowl­edge their pre­cious ba­bies,” Mr Car­vahlo says. “It is also a chance to raise aware­ness of the emo­tional im­pact of preg­nancy and in­fant loss.

“Much of the ta­boo comes from friends and fam­ily not know­ing what or how to say it. The most im­por­tant need of par­ents is to have the loss ac­knowl­edged.”

SANDS of­fers sup­port and guid­ance to be­reaved fam­i­lies across many plat­forms. “For par­ents be­reaved by the death of a baby dur­ing preg­nancy or shortly af­ter, few will un­der­stand the depth and ex­tent of their loss,” Mr Car­vahlo says.

“It is thought that the unique na­ture of the loss, the so­ci­etal norm of not an­nounc­ing a preg­nancy till a cer­tain num­ber of weeks, com­pounds the enor­mity of the loss. The loss of what could have been is a very dif­fi­cult type of loss both for be­reaved par­ents and for friends and fam­i­lies. So few peo­ple are equipped with the knowl­edge of how to deal with these sit­u­a­tions.’’

SANDS will recog­nise the day by host­ing a se­ries of events across Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing Bris­bane, Bund­aberg, Cairns, Gold Coast, Mackay, Sun­shine Coast and Townsville.

If you are af­fected by the loss of a baby, SANDS Aus­tralia of­fers sup­port through lo­cal sup­port groups, a 24-hour phone line on 1300 072 367, and sands.org.au.

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