October is probably most well-known for Breast Cancer Awareness and wearing pink but after experiencing a miscarriage, I have learned that October is also Infant Loss Awareness Month. In the 4 months since my miscarriage, I have dealt with a variety of feelings and emotions and I am thankful to be able to contribute to this post in honor of October 15th, which is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day:
If you’re curious about the origins of this month of remembrance and awareness, here are some details from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep:
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 15, 1988. On that day he said:
“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
International Wave of Light
On October 15th at 7:00 p.m. in time zones all over the world, candles will be lit for all of the babies that are being honored. Help us continue that world glow and spread awareness about this special day that everyone can participate in.
As I mentioned in the post above, a wonderful resource for those who have experienced loss is Lullaby of Hope. I received one of their boxes of hope from a friend after my loss and I love their mission:
If you would like to send someone in your life one of their boxes, they are offering free shipping during the month of October.
Something else I think should be discussed is the need to be educated about your rights. It can be a confusing and frustrating process if you’re employed and you find out that a miscarriage does not qualify you for bereavement leave (this is sadly VERY common). Find your state laws and FMLA details at this website. A lot of helpful guidance here.
For those of you that have experienced loss, please know that your story matters, even if you choose not to share it. If you ever do want to talk about it, I am available to listen.
Thanks for reading.