The unimaginable pain felt while birthing a baby becomes all worth it when the mother holds her child for the first time. But, not being able to hold your child in your arms even after carrying them for months is beyond any existing pain. Many cases of pregnancy loss are reported globally due to stillbirth, miscarriage, or death of a newborn. Hence, 15th October is observed as the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day every year across the world.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed every year to effectively shed light on the dilemma of pregnancy loss and infant death. Pregnancy loss and infant death include miscarriage, stillbirth, or the unfortunate death of a newborn. However, it is not limited to that.
In an effort to solemnize the day, candle lighting vigils and remembrance ceremonies are organized. The day is concluded with the Lights of Love International Wave of Light that is a worldwide lighting of candles and campaign illuminations. This is held globally and starts at 7 pm in all the time zones.
History of the day
Former American President Ronald Reagen proclaimed the month of October as the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance month on 25th October 1988. Later in 2002, an American movement was started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak. Together, they began the 15th October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day campaign.
They also petitioned the federal government and the governors of all fifty states regarding this. After their multiple efforts, the day came into existence to encourage talks about healthy pregnancy and about the loss of the babies who left the world too soon.
Meaning of stillbirth
A stillbirth is the loss of a baby after around 20 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. According to research conducted by the World Health Organization, there were around 2.6 million cases of stillbirths that were recorded globally in 2015.
The reason for stillbirth in 1/3rd of the cases goes unexplained while the rest might be caused due to the problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, high blood pressure, infections, birth defects, or poor lifestyle choices.
Meaning of a miscarriage
A miscarriage is a tragic event that results in the loss of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. It typically takes place in the first trimester or the first three months of the pregnancy. Miscarriages happen in 10% to 20% of pregnancies.
Causes of a miscarriage can include infections, medical conditions, hormonal problems, immune system problems, uterine abnormalities, drinking or smoking, and exposure to radiation or toxic substances.
Ways to have a healthy pregnancy and to avoid the problem of miscarriage and stillbirth:
- Opting for a prenatal vitamin daily.
- Joining a pregnancy exercise class or walking for 15 to 20 minutes daily at a moderate pace.
- Even if it isn’t your first pregnancy, keep educating yourself constantly.
- Terminating the habit of ingestion of toxins like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
- Prevent lifting of heavy objects or climbing a ladder or standing for long periods of time near a hot stove.
- Increase your daily intake of water.
- Eat food that is rich in folate.
- Learn about postpartum depression and maintain a constant touch with your doctor.
Lastly, the official colors of awareness of the cause are light pink and baby blue. So take this chance and educate yourself and your family and friends about the cause.