Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Death is inevitable, and when it happens to a loved one it can be very difficult to process and cope. When it happens to a child, however, nobody tells you how to grieve. When you lose a child, are you still a parent?
The loss of a child can be absolutely earth-shattering. Unfortunately, in the United States 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, while 5.8 of every 1,000 live births end in death. As a parent who has lost a child or a woman that has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate the grief that follows the gravity of that type of loss.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month honors those that have lost a child during pregnancy or infancy. It promotes awareness about something that is a lot more common than people may realize. There are numerous organizations that offer support groups and counseling which prove to be incredibly helpful to those going through the grieving process. When you lose a loved one, you grieve. When you lose a child, how do you navigate those feelings? Nobody tells you how to cope with losing a child. You may feel broken and lost.
It is okay to mourn. It is okay to feel a multitude of feelings. The truly beautiful thing about designating a month to raising awareness about such a difficult topic, is that more people are talking about their experiences and sharing their stories. Not only is that cathartic for the grieving parent, but it also gets rid of the stigma of discussing miscarriage or infancy loss. The more people talk about it, the easier it is to offer support to your loved ones or to get support for yourself.
Reach out. Talk about it. Grieve in your own way. Get support.