The pain of losing a child is hard to imagine for most people. But every year thousands of fellow Canadians face such a tragedy and often suffer in silence. 1,600 infants die in their first year of life and more than 3,000 babies are stillborn every year in Canada. Additionally, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies lead to miscarriages.
To break the stigma surrounding the death of children, October 15 is recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It provides acknowledgement of the trauma bereaved parents endure, creates an opportunity to talk about the children who died too soon, and helps advocate for appropriate support services for families.
“One of the most wonderful things that our friends and family do is talk about our daughter Lily. They are not afraid to say her name or bring her up. It acknowledges that I am her mommy, that she did exist and that she made an impact in the short amount of time she shared with us. The one thing I always worry about is that she will be forgotten.”
Community support is incredibly important after such tragic losses. This year Canadians participated in 15 “Walk to Remember” events across the nation in support of bereaved parents and their families and friends.
“Support can be quiet, comfort can come from far away or close to home but the most important thing everyone did for us was letting us know we weren’t alone.”
From coast to coast major landmarks such as city halls, bridges, towers, and stadiums will light up in the colours pink, purple, or blue to set a visible sign in recognition of the awareness day.
Everyone is invited to show their support by lighting a candle on October 15 at 7pm local time to participate in the International Wave of Light. This world-wide community activity will create a continuous wave of light traversing around the globe to remember all babies gone too soon.
To find an event near you, please check the event directory.
If you wish to read about how you may be able to support friends, family, or colleagues who have lost a child, review the available resources and simply let them know that you haven’t forgotten their children.
If you have lost a child due to stillbirth or neonatal death in Canada during the period of 30 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2019 or since Jan 30, 2020 please consider participating in the #COCOONCanada research study.