If you think pregnancy and infant loss is a third-world problem, think again. Pregnancy and infant loss, caused by miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and other causes, happen more often to American women than most people realize. Here’s a shocking statistic: one in four U.S. pregnancies ends in miscarriage and one in 160 deliveries ends in stillbirth.
Use stillbirth as an example. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Stillbirth affects about 1% of all pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.” Between one-third to one-half of stillbirths are “unexplained.” The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. stillbirth rate 25th in the world, with 3 per 1,000 babies stillborn.
Thirty years ago, President Reagan declared October the “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month” to acknowledge angel parents, parents who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss, and provide them the resources they need.
But we live in a culture that doesn’t deal well with death, especially with pregnancy loss and infant death. Losing an infant is so unthinkable and shocking that many don’t talk about it. Naturally, angel parents who have lost their babies usually bury their deep sorrows in their hearts. They often feel very lonely during their grieving process. Their families, friends, and communities often don’t know what to do and how to comfort them.
If you happen to know an angel parent, here are a few things you can do that will bring tremendous comfort to him or her.
Read more at The Federalist.