October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, along with SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) awareness, and Pregnancy After a Loss Awareness. Losing a child -- no matter what the cause -- is devastating. Families whose babies are stillborn, who miscarry, or who lose an infant face unique challenges on top of the typical grief and support needed for survivors who experience the death of a child. This month, several organizations join together to bring awareness to these issues and challenges, working to provide information for prevention as well as coping and support. We would like to share some of the most helpful posts and resources that touch on this topic.
For an extensive and general list of resources on many topics pertaining to child loss, including stillbirth and SIDS, visit First Candle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to shedding light on, providing resources for, and funding research on SIDS and SUIDS (sudden unexpected infant death syndrome).
PALS (Pregnancy After Loss Support) shares information from moms who give suggestions on the sensitive topic of packing your hospital bag for birth in a pregnancy after a loss. This is a task many families avoid or put off for fear of experiencing more grief.
Still Standing Magazine, which focuses on surviving child loss and infertility, gives us an exceptional piece on the most important things not to say to bereaved parents -- and more importantly, helpful things to say instead. Phrases like, "be thankful," "at least...," and "have faith" might feel helpful, but they usually aren't. Learn why.
Some families are hesitant in continuing to talk about their child who passed away, but the blogger at Scribbles & Crumbs writes about why it's important to continue talking about those children -- how it can help with grief, with healing, and with celebrating that child's memory and life, no matter how short. Blogger Lexi also shares a beautifully moving tribute letter to her child, Charlie.
Families find many ways to remember a child or children who have died. This family was given a special gift of including their lost twins "in the picture" by a photographer with special Photoshop skills. They now have visual representation of their complete family.
If you need some reassurance or support from another who ha been through this kind of loss, you can find 23 jewels of wisdom in a post on Pregnant Chicken about the things this author wishes she would have known about becoming pregnant after a loss.
Scary Mommy, a well known blogger who experienced loss at 36 weeks, explains the significance and importance of photographs of babies who have passed away. Though others may not get it or feel uncomfortable, it's helpful for you and others who have experienced loss to continue to share these memories.
Fore more help, check out this Resources for Pregnancy and Infant Loss list we compiled earlier on the blog.