Some provinces in Canada have officially recognized October as a time to acknowledge Pregnancy and Infant Loss. To honor lost pregnancies and babies, the physicians here at The Reproductive Care Centre in Mississauga share facts about pregnancy and infant loss, as well as ways to cope with such a loss and help your loved one’s cope with their loss.
- Miscarriage is defined as a loss of a baby before 20 weeks in utero. Stillbirth is a loss of a baby after 20 weeks.
- The causes of miscarriages and stillbirths are mostly unknown. Some losses may be due to chromosomal abnormalities.
- It can affect couples of all ages, races, and ethnicities.
- Some studies show that up to 25% of pregnancies end in loss, and about 1 percent end in stillbirth. Also, 4 in 1000 babies don’t live past one month due to various factors such as SIDS and illnesses.
How to Cope:
- Know that you are not alone. Infant and pregnancy loss are very common, and it is in no way you or your partner’s fault.
- Find a support group, locally or online to speak with other couples who are experiencing the same feelings. You may also find peace at a place of worship.
- Express yourself. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Cry and scream when you need to, if it helps you feel better.
- Be there for your partner. Your partner is going through the same emotions as you; be sure to talk with them and find ways to cope together.
- Find a grief counselor. If you need professional help, there are great counselors who you can trust; your doctor may be able to recommend someone in the area.
- Honor your child. You may wish to plant a tree or create a memory box to celebrate your unborn, or young, baby.
How to Help:
- If your loved one has experienced a loss, consider organizing sending gift cards for restaurants and grocery stores, or have food delivered directly to their home while they grieve their loss.
- Make a donation in honor of the family to a charity of their choosing.
- Send a card to let them know they are in your thoughts, and offer a listening ear or a lending hand if and when they need it.