Does anyone know what October is? We all know it is the time of year where we drink hot apple cider and dress up our little ones in adorable costumes to work the neighborhood streets for candy. What many do not know is it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Ever wonder why that childless couple dims their porch light or simply lays out a bucket of candy on the porch? Maybe they are dentists? Maybe they have an extreme peanut allergy? Well, before you break out your bag of tricks and start hurling eggs at their doorstep, set it down and think of the possible reason they are avoiding anything kid-centric.
Want some statistics on why a whole month is dedicated to this extremely sensitive and heart-wrenching topic? How about this: Nearly 90,000 children in the United States die before age 1 annually with nearly 2,500 of those due to SIDS. Worldwide, nearly 4.5 million babies are born stillborn, a shocking statistic. More babies die as a result of stillbirth than all other causes of infant death combined. Finally, percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Yep, 1 in 5. Staggering to say the least. With this level of frequency, it is very likely that either you or someone close to you has experienced this traumatic event in their lives. October 15th is the day of remembrance for all of those babies that were lost to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth, etc. If you know someone who has recently had a miscarriage or infant loss, we have compiled a list of ways you can support them during their struggle to right themselves in a world turned up-side-down.
Here are seven ways you can support someone who has lost a baby:
1. Be like Nike, and JUST DO IT. Don’t ask what you can do to help, chances are they are not going to ask. Bring over dinner, tell them you will treat them to dinner out while you clean their house, mow their lawn or do whatever to make the daily drudgery less of a burden.
2. Say Their Name. The baby they lost is a person. Honor their baby. Some people just do not know how to act in these types of situations. Many times, simply saying the name of their baby acknowledges the life that was gone to soon.
3.Ding Dong Ditch. Go shopping, get things that you know they like or are likely to need like flowers, beer, pizza, home-cooked dinner, whatever. Then, sneak over to their house, place these things on their porch, ring the doorbell and run like hell. Don’t call or ask how they liked what you gave them. They will appreciate what you brought whether they know who to thank or not.
4. Remember and acknowledge tough days. Mother’s Day/Father’s Day; due dates; their baby’s would-be birthday; all of these dates are hard, a small gesture of a card will go a long way.
5. Talk about it with them, and if they don’t want to talk about then just sitting with the couple even if it is to “just be” will help more than you realize.
6. A memorabilia item, like a necklace, footprints in sand kit or even a memory box can be a great way to change the atmosphere from one of loss to one of honoring the time they had together.
7. Help plan a memorial to remember. There are several things you can do including a butterfly release, first birthday celebration at a park, plant a remembrance tree, etc. Anything you can do to bring honor and serenity to the memory of their child will be pivotal to their recovery.
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C&C from MTV’s True Life