The day parents acknowledge a precious loss
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.