National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month has become a safe space for those grieving a loss and others trying to understand and comfort. This October, discover ways to communicate gently and sensitively to grieving parents and anyone suffering the loss of an infant. There are activities and community resources available and closer than you think.
If you or someone you care about has lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS, or any other cause at any point during pregnancy or infancy, please join us in raising awareness this October for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over a million pregnancies end in miscarriages or stillbirths each year.
What can you say to a grieving parent after the loss of their baby? How can you give gentle support?
A grieving mom started a movement
After Robyn Bear had six miscarriages, she realized her support system could not fully understand her loss. Eventually, Robyn teamed up with two other women to get proclamations signed supporting a day of remembrance for deceased babies and their grieving parents. The action turned into a political movement.
1. It helps supporters communicate sensitively
Telling a grieving parent that the baby’s death is “God’s will” can unwittingly sound insensitive. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month provides resources and teaching tools to help people understand the grief process. More importantly, it guides other family members and supporters through the communication skills that can offer comfort to parents after the devastating loss of a child.
2. The infant is still the family’s baby
Babies die from stillbirths, miscarriages, and SIDS, among other tragedies. Even though the child died in the womb or shortly after birth, the parents may have named and already bonded with the baby. It is not easy to “just get over it.” Parents must learn to live with their loss. Supporters must be sensitive to the trauma by understanding that the baby already had a place in the family.
Support Groups: https://nationalshare.org/north-carolina/
Loss and Outreach Organizations: https://www.mend.org/infant-loss-organizations
Star Legacy Foundation: https://starlegacyfoundation.org/for-families-and-friends/