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Tuesday
Oct142014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Often, parents who are grieving the loss of a pregnancy or an infant are subjected to well meaning, but less than helpful, words of encouragement following their loss. Statements such as "you can always have more children" or "at least you already have two children" often cause feelings of shame for their grief and anger during a time that is immensely painful. Equally as often heard are statements about how the baby was probably sick or "not right" and that the loss was a blessing. Some parents find this sort of statement helpful, many parents find the thought behind this statement helpful after a period of time has passed, and some other parents feel blame and saddened. The pain of this loss combined with a lack of awareness in the public of the helpful, and not so helpful, things that can be said create stigma that prevents many parents from sharing their experience publicly. The reality is that the CDC reports that six out of every one thousand babies die within the first year of life. You are likely to know at least one person who has experienced infant loss. So what do you say to someone when you learn that they have lost a pregnancy or an infant? I always advise people to go with honesty - saying that you don't know what to say, that there are no words, that your heart hurts for them are all appropriate. The most helpful direction from there is, if you are comfortable, to ask about their baby - what was their name or due date, are there pictures that they feel comfortable sharing, or giving them to space to talk freely, without judgement, about their child and their role as a parent. Want to take it a step further? Parents want to know that their child will continue to have meaning in this world, despite their physical absence. Offering to give a blanket to a NICU, giving a holiday gift to a child in need in their child's name, making a donation in their child's memory, or offering to celebrate their child's birthday with them are just a few examples of some wonderful ways you can help keep their child's spirit alive. Above all else, keep learning, keep talking, and keep listening so the stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss lessens and parents can better access the support and love they need from their families, friends, and community as they grieve. 

Don't forget to share with your family and friends about Grief TREE's upcoming retreat for mothers who have lost infants - www.grieftree.com

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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - Blog - Lisa Zucker, MSW, LCSW
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - Blog - Lisa Zucker, MSW, LCSW
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - Blog - Lisa Zucker, MSW, LCSW
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Response: best fish finder
    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
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    Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

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