Clock tower to light up for baby loss fam­i­lies

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

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.

Above:

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

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