In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. He stated, "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."
President Reagan touched the hearts and grief of millions by making that bold statement and since, bereaved parents across the country began to recognize and honor their grief in losing a pregnancy and/or infant. This has sparked a movement for families everywhere to openly and proudly discuss their babies and their loss as personally or publically as they wanted.
From that, October 15 has become a universal day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death. This day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils, concluding with the International Wave of Light worldwide lighting of candles.
It is important for families to acknowledge their loss as they find appropriate, however, many need permission to grieve these losses. When you are ready, it's important for you and your family to remember your baby in ways that are special. Even if you may not have had the chance to see, touch or hold him or even give your baby a name, there are things you can do to help you remember your baby. Collect things that remind you of your baby. These might be ultrasound pictures, footprints, a hospital bracelet, photos, clothes, blankets or toys. Put them in a special box or scrapbook. Do or make something special to remember your baby. In addition to participating in the Wave of Light Ceremony, you may also find the following things helpful in coping with your loss:
Three Little Birds Perinatal & Palliative Care Advocacy and Support Center’s mission is to support families through these losses. Your loss does not have to be recent for us to support you. Grief is a life-long battle and we have several qualified empathetic support volunteer who can discuss your thoughts and feelings with you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You and your baby matter to us and we are here to support you, but more importantly honor and validate your baby’s memory.
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director