Clock tower to light up for baby loss families
SOCIETY is getting better at not stigmatising miscarriage, still birth or babies dying, according to NALAG chief executive, grief counsellor and educator Trudy Hanson.
“The stigma ticks all the boxes for what is called ‘disenfranchised grief’ of which the definition is grief that people experience when they incur a loss that is not, or cannot be, openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned,” Mrs Hanson said.
A miscarriage, for example, may not be publicly known and if it is, people don’t have the words, which leaves grieving parents isolated.
“We are getting better with acknowledging stillborn and miscarriage. NALAG provides education and resources to many services and in fact National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day held on October 15 each year has been occurring since 1988,” Mrs Hanson said.
To raise awareness and mark the day, local baby-loss mum Rochelle Olsen has arranged for the Dubbo clocktower on Macquarie Street to be lit up in pink and blue on Tuesday, October 15.
Mrs Olsen lost her first-born son, Edward, in 2016.
“I strive to raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. October 15th is the International Day of recognition. We will be lighting the clocktower’s facade in blue and pink on that night to honour the lost babies of our region. We’re also lobbying parliament to have this day nationally recognised in Australia,” Mrs Olsen told Dubbo
“My aim is to provide awareness to the community as a whole, but also to inform the baby loss parents of the support they can receive through NALAG, right here in Dubbo.”
NALAG has supported 39 women who have lost a baby in the last two years.
“There would be more who have not accessed NALAG services. The loss of a baby at any time is one of the most devastating, personally-unique experiences any parent can go through. I encourage those grieving such a loss to reach out for help. NALAG is always available for support,” Mrs Hanson said.
NALAG provides free of charge an engraved stone from their Baby’s Garden to anyone requesting one to remember their baby, or a Memory Book is also available free.
In 2014, there was a total of 2200 still births and 786 deaths after birth in Australia.
Baby-loss mum Rochelle Olsen is raising awareness for National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day and will light up Dubbo’s clocktower on Macquarie Street in pink and blue on Tuesday, October 15. She is pictured with her son, Jock. PHOTO: DUBBO