MEDWATCH: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

MEDWATCH: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Losing a baby is hard -- no matter how old they were and it happens more often than you think.

One in four women have a miscarriage and 1 in 160 babies are born stillborn.

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and it gives parents a chance to open up about their personal stories and find comfort in others.

The Women’s Services bereavement committee at Comanche County Memorial Hospital set up a table to let people remember the babies who died either while the mom was still pregnant or right after birth.

Staff or patients, who are in the hospital, can put a butterfly on the memory tree.

Multiple nurses already stopped by to remember their little one. One of those nurses is Katie Russell.

She’s apart of the committee and labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. He son died when he was just 14 days old.

“There’s a lot of people who have had losses that don’t know how to speak about it or in certain generations they were told you just keep it to yourself,” Registered Nurse Tonya Defoor said. “We want people to be able to talk about it because that’s how we raise awareness and that’s how we make it less of stigma.”

Moms can lose their baby not only on the first trimester, but also in the second, third and even after the baby is born.

“You think you’re out of the clear and you never really know when something is going to happen. It’s important to find your support in your friends, in your family, and to be able to grieve appropriately and have the resources you need to grieve,” Defoor said.

She says they try to help the parents through the grieving process while they’re at CCMH after having a miscarriage or giving birth to a stillborn.

“We also try to provide them with the footprints, the lock of hair. We try to do molds of their hands and their feet, whatever we can do to get them something in person that they can hold on to to remember their baby by,” Defoor said.

Defoor wants parents to know they didn’t forget about them or their precious little one who gained their wings.

“We want them to know that it’s ok to talk about their baby, and we remember their birthdays,” Defoor said. “We remember all the babies on October 15th and we want them to light their candle on Oct. 15th at 7 p.m. across the world to raise awareness because there’s so many people who don’t know about infant loss and that’s why people don’t talk about it. People don’t know about it.”

In years past, people were able to come to the hospital to put a butterfly on the remembrance tree, but because of COVID people can only come to the hospital if they have a doctors appointment, are admitted, or work there.

So, they are encouraging people to participate in the Wave of Light candle lightings that are happening all around the world at 7 p.m. on October 15th -- which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. These candles are lit in memory of the babies who have died too soon.

Defoor says they plan on having the butterfly remembrance tree again next year.

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