Content warning: Pregnancy, newborn and infant loss
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is commemorated worldwide. It’s a day to remember the little ones lost due to early pregnancy loss, miscarriage, termination for medical reasons, ectopic pregnancies, molar pregnancies, chemical pregnancies, stillbirths, neonatal births, SIDS, SUDI, SUDC and accidents. On this day, we acknowledge the little ones gone too soon, share stories to remember them, and raise awareness.
Who is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day for?
Pregnancy and loss of an infant or newborn is sadly a common experience. It’s also one that has historically been affected by complex social and cultural taboos, encouraging the grieving parents to stay silent. The day encourages survivors of baby loss and their families to break the silence, share their stories, and integrate their grief into their lives in a meaningful way.
Pregnancy and infant loss statistics
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day serves to break this taboo and promote better awareness and support for the estimated 1 in 4 people and their families whose lives are affected by the death of a child.
In Australia, every year around 110,000 people experience a miscarriage. An additional 2,200 people have a stillbirth, 600 lose their baby in the first 28 days after birth, and many more experience the trauma and grief of enduring a termination for medical reasons. October is the time for us all to acknowledge the heartbreak that affects so many families in Australia and beyond.
Celebrities and their pregnancy loss experiences
Many celebrities and public figures have been outspoken about their own personal experiences of pregnancy, newborn and infant loss, including Michelle Obama, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Chrissy Teigen, Beyonce and Halsey, among many others. Their openness has helped others tackle topics that for so long were considered taboo, thereby helping to shift the dialogue.
What you can do to commemorate Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day
- In Australia, buildings will light up in purple at night on 15 October. You can visit these locations to pay your respects.
- On October 15, you can light a candle at 7pm to participate in the Wave of Light. This is a nice way to memorialise and honour the littles ones you have known who died.
- If you would like to support a friend on 15 October (and all year round), send them a text or give them a call in the lead up to the day. It’s better to say something than to say nothing at all.
- There are many events across Australia where you can remember the little ones that left us too soon. Virtual events are also available to join if you are unable to physically attend.
- There are many organisations and charities doing great work to help support individuals and families who have experienced a loss. Consider fundraising in honour of a little one you or a loved one have lost. (See support services and further resources below).
No matter how far along you were in your pregnancy journey – nothing should stop you from grieving your baby. This October 15, whether you are remembering a little one you lost, supporting a loved one or paying your respects with the Wave of Light, remember that 24 hour support is available.
Support and resources
Red Nose Australia - Bereavement support for individuals and families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child.
Sands - A volunteer-based association that provides support and personalised care for those affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death.
Miscarriage Australia - A researcher and clinician-run body that aims to help all affected by miscarriage.
The helplines below provide free, confidential telephone support and counselling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Red Nose Grief and Loss Bereavement Support Services - call 1300 308 307 (interpreter services are available).
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement – call 1800 642 066
Lifeline - 13 11 14
If you or a loved one have been affected by miscarriage, early pregnancy loss, stillbirth or SIDS and you would like to donate to a dedicated charity in your Will, you can leave a bequest. Start today at willed.com.au.