*Trigger warning: child loss and miscarriage*
Each year from October 9th through the 15th we recognize Baby Loss Awareness Week — a week to raise awareness for miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other devastating baby loss. During this time, we pause to remember and grieve for ourselves, for our friends, or for those we may not even know who have experienced such heartbreaking loss. So many people carry this loss with them every day, and all of us at OvuSense honor their struggle and recognize their strength.
According to experts, as many as 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and approximately 1 in 160 pregnancies are affected by stillbirth each year in the United States. Whether or not you have endured a loss yourself, you likely know someone who has, and this is a time we stand with our friends, loved ones, and all the parents who have lost children to honor their memories.
The OvuSense team recently connected with Samantha Catanach, founder of Chasing Rainbows, a UK-based charity and peer support group that aims to make people feel comfortable talking about pregnancy loss and raise awareness of miscarriage and how common it is in order to make women feel less alone. Samantha founded Chasing Rainbows in May 2019 after suffering several devastating losses before ultimately being blessed with a family of her own. Below, Sam answers some common questions about Baby Loss Awareness Week and how people can show their support.
What Should People Know About Baby Loss Awareness Week?
Baby Loss Awareness Week is a time to acknowledge baby loss of any kind and any gestation, and to show that every loss matters. It’s a time to raise awareness of the impact that baby loss has on couples and their families, friends, colleagues, and others, and to show support. Ultimately, it’s a time to try to make the world better at recognizing the pain of baby loss and collectively supporting those who are grieving in the best way that we can.
how Can I Support A Loved One Struggling Through A Loss?
Baby Loss Awareness Week isn’t just for those who have been through loss – it’s for people to think about how they have supported their family members or friends and if they have been compassionate in their support. When someone is vulnerable and opens up to you and tells you of their struggles, whether it’s to conceive or to carry a baby to full term, the last thing they want to be told is, “Oh, well, you know – my friend Sally stopped taking her vitamins and went out, let her hair down, had a one night stand and is now pregnant with triplets. ”The right thing to do is to always validate someone who is opening up to you about fertility and baby loss. Just listen, acknowledge their struggle, and validate them – don’t offer them unsolicited advice that’s going to imply they are desperate or crazy. Just be present and open-minded to the way they are feeling and acknowledge the gravity of what they are going through.>
How Can I Learn More?
You never know what someone is going through and Baby Loss Awareness week may be the time that someone finds the strength to reach out and share their story or to ask for help and support. Reading campaigns and taking part in the Wave of Light is a perfect way to validate and acknowledge the loss of others and also to learn more about how you can show your support.>
Baby Loss Awareness Week ends on October 15th with Wave of Light Day. To commemorate this day, people across the world are asked to light a candle at 7 p.m., to create a literal wave of light marking the short light our babies brought to this work, and the impact they continue to have on us and our families. You can also use the hashtag #WaveOfLight if you’d like to share your story or read posts of inspiration or compassion from others. Join us in spreading a wave of light.