by Sherokee Ilse, Mpls, Minnesota, USA
Families who suffer this type of tragedy need sensitive caregivers, clear and comprehensive choices in their decision-making, understanding family and friends, and ongoing support and resources.
The incidence of stillbirth, miscarriage, and early infant death in each country of the world is far higher than imagined. Each day babies die and the pain and suffering that accompanies each loss is intense. Put in your statistics here such as “Approximately 29,000 babies die each year in the U.S, almost 1 out of 100 births.”
Additional training and education is needed to ensure that all professionals who interact with bereaved families are well-trained and sensitive to the needs and parents’ rights at the time of loss as well as the resources to support families.
Family, friends, religious communities, and co-workers are often challenged in their desire to support bereaved parents. With awareness and education on this issue, they can better know how to help, what to say, and what not to say.
Until rather recently, there was no research on this major problem. However, during the past few years some scientists and physicians have been working to seek causes. The need for even research on causes and prevention is beginning to gain in acceptance. In order to gain more legitimacy for this cause and to share the research that does come out, the more awareness we build around this topic the better.
In addition, there is need for legislation, funding, and standardization of data, etc in each country. With this information will come more consistent efforts and clear reasons why this issue needs to be studied and prevented and why families deserve even better care.
Yes, awareness is important. A supportive environment can make all the difference as to how parents incorporate this loss, this precious child, into their lives in a healthy manner and how they face subsequent pregnancies and parenting after such traumatic loss.