The loss of a pregnancy or infant is a life-changing experience that often happens with little acknowledgement of the grief that is attached. This is especially true when it comes to the loss of an early pregnancy when few people are aware and the loss is more private. Even when they are aware, many people struggle to know how to react or care for a person who has experienced such a loss.
History of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is an opportunity for parents or other family members who have lost a baby to mark this loss or process their grief. The event is also used to raise awareness about the sensitive topic and the need these individuals or families have for support.
This day got its start in 2001 when the US government petitioned to observe October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is meant to provide an opportunity for baby loss families, loved ones and supportive organizations around the world to set aside a time of remembrance.
Since that time, the day has grown in scope and become international, including official recognition of governments including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and more. Some groups have chosen to observe the whole month of October, with a slight shift to International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
How to Observe International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Consider some of these opportunities to show support for and observe International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day:
Light a Candle
Wave of Light is an organization that was founded in 2003 and began an invitation for people to observe this day by lighting a candle for an hour, at 7:00pm in their own time zone. The idea is that if someone in every timezone lights a candle in celebration of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, it’s possible that a “wave of light” will be moving around the world for the entire 24 hours.
Wear Pink and Blue Ribbons
The awareness ribbon colors related to the campaign for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day are pink and light blue. In support of this campaign, many people choose to wear these colors as a symbol. This could be done in the classic form of a simple ribbon pinned to a shirt or jacket, or supporters could also get more creative and use the colors to make a wreath for their door or window, or even add a ribbon to their car. Another option is to post a “ribbon” on a profile picture or share on some other form of social media.
Remember a Child
One of the most important parts of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is that parents, siblings, grandparents or other family members who have lost a pregnancy or infant have an opportunity to remember. This act of remembering is a vital part of a healthy grieving process. Some families choose to keep this very private and mark the day at home. Others may have a ceremony of some sort, choosing to have a balloon launch or another way to remember.