- October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Since 1988, the holiday has been a time for remembrance and education about all aspects of infant loss, from miscarriages to SIDS.
- Observe World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th in honor of bereaved families and the children they’ve lost.
- Baby loss might be more common than you think: 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
- To help those that have faced tragedies like this, you can volunteer, donate, educate yourself and others, spread awareness, and participate in the International Wave of Light event.
- You can also show your support by wearing a pink and blue ribbon during October or on October 15th.
Losing any loved one is tragic, but losing a baby can be particularly devastating. It’s something no one should have to experience, yet every year, too many parents face miscarriages and infant loss.
In order to support those who have lost babies, born and unborn, and remember the little ones that have passed on, October was named Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Is October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month?
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan did indeed proclaim October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Remembering the babies that have been lost and honoring their parents’ grief is a central aspect of observing this month, as well as spreading awareness and information about how common this type of loss is.
According to Michigan.gov, 25% of women in the U.S. endure a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. There are multiple causes of infant death, including birth defects, illness, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), neonatal death, molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, accidents, and many others.
If a friend or family member has experienced baby loss, reach out and let them know you’re thinking of them and their lost child. Supporting parents who have lost a baby isn’t always easy—be careful not to downplay or minimize the loss in any way. Everyone grieves in their own way, so being sympathetic, supportive, and available to talk to is a great place to start.
If you lost a child yourself and are looking for ways to cope, support groups can be a helpful way to share your sorrow. Dealing with the loss of a child is indescribably hard, but oftentimes, knowing that you’re not alone and that others are feeling just like you can be a comfort when you’re hurting.
When Is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day?
For Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month 2022, World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is recognized on October 15. Many organizations have their own events to honor the day, such as the International Wave of Light, a worldwide event where people light a candle at 7 p.m. local time to honor the lives of lost babies.
Is There a Miscarriage Awareness Day?
Technically, miscarriage awareness is acknowledged on the same day as World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Miscarriage awareness week, though, does exist and is known officially as Baby Loss Week, which is October 9-15th.
Is There an Ectopic Pregnancy Awareness Month?
Ectopic Pregnancy Month would also be commemorated with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Baby Loss Week. However, as of 2022, August 1st is now Ectopic Pregnancy Day, so there is also a specific time for remembrance.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month Activities
For those wanting to raise awareness and educate others, posting on social media is a great way to spread the word.
Whether it’s simply posting a picture stating that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, using a hashtag from an organization you’d like to support, or posting a personal story of infant loss, fostering appreciation and understanding is an integral part of why this holiday exists.
Helping people learn and be aware of pregnancy and infant loss allows others to better support the families going through loss. In the long term, the knowledge gleaned could also improve education and prevention efforts, which may aid in decreasing the frequency of these tragic deaths.
Donating is also good practice, whether it be your time or money. There are many excellent organizations out there focused on supporting families facing infant loss, and assisting them in their mission is a great way to bolster the cause. Organizations like Star Legacy Foundation, March of Dimes, Pregnancy After Loss Support, and the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) are all looking for donations and volunteers.
Finally, you can participate in the International Wave of Light on World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day at 7 p.m. If you’d like to take it a step further, some organizations encourage you to personalize the activity by making your own candle. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is one such organization, and they have a tutorial video on how to make one on their website.
What Color Ribbon Is for Miscarriage?
The ribbons are pink and blue, with one color on each side of the looped ribbon, one crossing over the other. The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month colors are, therefore, blue and pink.
However you’d like to participate, remember that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is about supporting those who have lost as well as raising awareness. Engaging in activities is important, but giving families you know time and a safe space to mourn their lost child is the best way you can personally show your support—and is something that can happen year-round.