National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
Happy Fall Y'all! It is officially October, the month where the leaves on the trees change to beautiful colors. When we start wearing comfy sweaters and celebrate Halloween. This is Breast Cancer awareness month. But did you know it is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month? As well as, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) awareness month.
Many women experience a pregnancy or infant loss. It is more common than what people think. Between 10 and 25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages. Meaning 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage. A miscarriage can happen to anyone. No matter the age or race(chances are higher in African American women). After week 12 of being pregnant, the risk of having a miscarriage goes down to 2-3% but is still possible. This is why women usually wait until they are 3 months pregnant to announce their pregnancy. The loss of a baby after 20 weeks of gestation is called a stillbirth.
In the US, about 1 in 160 pregnancies end in a stillbirth. Which means there are roughly 24,000 stillbirths each year in the United States. The most common reasons why stillbirths happen are from placental problems like placental abruption or preeclampsia, which is pregnancy-related high blood pressure. Other reasons include birth defects, infections, or growth restrictions.
After I had my child, I feared to lose her to SIDS. SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is an unexpected, unknown cause of death in infants. The risk of SIDS peaks between 2-4 months of age and normally happens when the child is asleep. This is why I chose to cosleep with my daughter. I held her in my arms every night until she couldn't fit in my arms anymore. Doctors recommend that children sleep on their backs and in the same room of their parents until they are at least 6 months to lower the risk of SIDS/SUID. They also recommend that they do not sleep with blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in their cribs. In 2015, there were about 1,600 deaths due to SIDS, 1,200 deaths due to unknown causes that occurred among infants less than a year old [CDC].
This month I am sharing stories from women who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. In hopes that it can help someone who has recently been through this or someone who might experience it in the future. Not too many people know the chances of it happening to them or they don't know how to react when someone shares that they have had a miscarriage. Today, October 15th, 2017, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Join me in lighting a candle at 7 pm( your time) to remember all the babies who are now angels. Thank you.