Take the “BOO” out of “TABOO” this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
“I cannot think of anyone stronger than a mother who has lost her child…and still breathes” – Robyna May
Nobody prepares you for the hate, guilt, anxiety, and depression that follows a pregnancy or infant loss. The world doesn’t slow down. Strangers are not kinder because your child died. Time will heal, but it’s only putting more space in between each time your heartaches come to surface. The news of your child’s death becomes something chatted about and briefly brought up in conversation for months to come, but eventually, the conversations and check-ins from friends slow (even though it’s almost every thought in your mind).
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
You are not alone, and your feelings are valid. It’s always a good idea to reach out to local resources when feeling sad or ‘just not right,’ especially after a traumatic event like this. October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, where this taboo subject is brought into the light to let those affected know they are not alone.
For centuries, women who lost a child during pregnancy or shortly after birth were shamed and ridiculed. People once believed the sole purpose of a woman was to procreate (and clean the house). Women who can’t produce these fantasies were outcasted immediately.
Unfortunately, the stigma still exists today
Parents are often encouraged to not talk about their experience and the loss of a child. These parents feel isolated, helpless, and disconnected from family, friends, and even their partner. Parents often feel as though they are stuck in a box – trapped – in their own grief.
This month is for the 1 in 4 women who experience a miscarriage. This month is for the 1 in 160 women who experience a stillborn death. This month is for the women who experience a more substantial menstrual flow every three or so months and are told that they are ‘infertile.’ This month is for the couple who is trying, but can’t seem to catch a break. It’s for the parents that followed the guidelines, read all the books, and still ended up with a stillborn. You are not alone, and awareness of your experience will only bring light to this terribly “taboo” conversation.
It’s time to break the silence and allow this month to encourage conversation about pregnancy and infant loss. Raise awareness by talking about pregnancy and infant loss with locals, donate to a foundation, and commemorate the sweet lives that were taken too soon. Become active in your community by researching policy and voting for those who support bereavement care and loss programs. Start talking to break the stigma and allow parents who experience the loss of a child to grieve appropriately and feel valued.
“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow. When parts lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” – Ronald Regan.