October was declared as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In his declaration 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."
So what exactly is pregnancy and infant loss?
Well let’s look at it a little further:
MISCARRIAGES (stats from healthline.com):
Your doctor will classify your condition as a:
- blighted ovum (a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins)
- complete miscarriage (where the products of conception are expelled from the body)
- ectopic miscarriage (egg implants in places other than the uterus, most often the fallopian tubes)
- incomplete miscarriage (rupture of the membranes with dilation or thinning of the cervix)
- missed miscarriage (the embryo dies without your knowledge, and does not deliver)
- recurrent miscarriage (the third or more consecutive, 1st trimester miscarriages)
- threatened miscarriage (where bleeding and cramps point to a possible upcoming SAB)
STILLBIRTHS (stats from empowher.com):
- According to the World Health Organization, 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year worldwide.
- The Lancet reported that more than 7300 babies are stillborn every day.
- Approximately 1.2 million stillbirths happen during birth, usually because of delivery complications.
- 1.4 million stillbirths happen before birth, usually because of maternal infections or fetal growth abnormalities.
INFANT LOSS (stats & graphic from nwsids.org):
- Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) encompasses all types of death where an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly. SIDS is one type of SUID. The graph below shows the relationship between the two:
- According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage -- most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant.
- About 15% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
As you can see this month is a big deal.
What we have found is that these issues are regularly neglected leaving individuals left to deal with it on their own.
We want to change this.
This is a life factor that can make or break an individual.
My wife and I had a miscarriage last year and it was one of the hardest things that both of us have ever faced in our lives.
There are millions of others out there that have struggled with pregnancy or infant loss, but these situations are not hopeless!
This month we will be spreading hope and awareness on this issue to the individuals all over the world that need strengthened and encouraged with these life factors through:
- Stories - This month my wife and I will share our story of having a miscarriage to encourage others that have gone through it or will go through it in the future. In addition, we will seek out inspirational stories from others and share them on our site or podcast.
- Awareness - We will spread awareness about these topics.
- We will highlight resources, speakers, authors, etc. that are working to spread hope on these topics.
What is your story? Have you gone through a pregnancy or infant loss? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below or send us a note.
We hope you will be inspired to overcome and succeed regardless of what you are going through.
Sean & Jackie Teis