Sunday September 23, 2012
In 2006, the first National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Day was celebrated on October 15. This year will mark the 6th anniversary of that event, but there are events going on all over the United States and the World throughout the month of October.
If you want to get involved, you can visit the official site for the National Memorial Day. There's still time to join up with a an already planned event, or start one of your own.
Even if you don't want to recognize the day in a public capacity, there are plenty of ways to spend a special occasion like thing privately. Whether you spend the day with your signficant other, visit your baby's grave, or throw a joyful party, there's sure to be something wonderful you can do to honor your baby's memory.
One of the simplest ways is to light a candle at 7pm your local time to be a part of the worldwide wave of light to honor the memory of baby's lost all over the planet.
If you've learned of a special event and want to share it with other readers, please feel free to do so in the comments.
Some Helpful Resources for Planning a Memorial Event:
How to Find Awareness Events in Your Area
A Collection of Quotes About Loss
Celebrating Your Baby's Birthday
10 Unique Ways to Honor Your Baby's Memory
Photo © Art Montes De Oca / Getty Images
Monday September 17, 2012
September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, sponsored in partnership by a host of organizations, including:
- Office of Minority Health
- National Health Start Association
- March of Dimes
- Baltimore City Healthy Start
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Administration for Children and Families
- Indian Health Service
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
- National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition
This year's theme is "A Healthy Baby Begins With You and You and You."
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, from sharing a story about how you're working to prevent infant mortality at National Healthy Start Association's website. There, you can also enter to win a one-year of baby supplies from Johnson & Johnson just for signing up for Text4Baby.
Learn More About Infant Mortality:
What Is Infant Mortality?
What Is Perinatal Mortality?
Why Do Black Women Have More Pregnancy Losses?
Badge Courtesy of National Healthy Start Association
Sunday September 16, 2012
In February of this year, an Iowa same-sex couple filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Department of Public Health after Jenny, the non-gestational mother's name from the death certificate of the couple's stillborn son, Brayden. By state law in Iowa, a married couple is named on a birth or death certificate, regardless of biological parenthood. But after the tragic death of Jenny and Jessica Buntemeyer's son in 2011, their grief was made even sharper by the blatant removal of Jenny's name from the death certificate which arrived at their home in January of this year.
As any grieving parent knows, the last thing you need when you've just experienced such a devastating loss is complications and judgement. With so little to remember a stillborn baby by, something concrete, like a death certificate can take on extra significance. A document tying a child to his parents.
For same sex couples, there are already tremendous challenges to becoming parents, both biological and social. It can be difficult to families to find social support with healthy, full-term children, much less with pregnancy loss. Imagine the frustration and anger a mother must feel being told she does not have any claim to her child.
Lambda Legal has started a petition asking the Iowa Department of Public Health to restore Jenny Buntemeyer's name to her son's death certificate. If you wish to sign it, follow this link.
For More Information about Grief for Same Sex Couples, see here:
Same Sex Couples and Pregnancy Loss
Pregnancy Loss from the Perspective of Lesbian and Bisexual Moms
Saturday September 15, 2012
In January, I reported on the increased risks of diabetes for South Asian women. Now, a new study out of Australia reveals an increased risk of stillbirth for South Asian women.
The study, based in three Melbourne hospitals focused on women giving birth in Australia, but compared the rates of stillbirth for Australian-born women with those of women born in South Asian countries (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). Over a period of ten years, South Asian-born women were found to have a 2.4 times higher rate ofstillbirth than Australian-born women, and a 3.4 time higher risk than women born in East and Southeast Asia.
Researchers remain puzzled as to the reason for the disparity, though there is also a significant increase in low birth weight infants in the same population. Low birth weight is a known risk factor for stillbirth.
One of the study's authors, Professor Euan Wallace, also speculated that South Asian women may need to be induced earlier in pregnancy to reduce the risk. He suggests that women may not have the same gestation period across all populations.
More Reading on Stillbirth:
Treatment of Stillbirth
Causes of Stillbirth
Emotional Recovery from Stillbirth
Photo © Michael Skoglund / Getty Images