Don’t feel bad if you assumed October 15th was just another day on your handy-dandy polka dot Kate Spade calendar. To many women, it’s exactly that. It’s a day to plan apple pickings, weekend wine tastings, or search for a new hardy soup recipe online. I will be the first to admit that was me last year. I love when the leaves turn the colors of sienna and crimson and I have an excuse to wear my boots. But two days short of a year ago today my excitement about the approaching season was crushed. I learned that PILR stood for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. I went from a joyful Pinterest obsessed pregnant woman filled with a million Thanksgiving baby reveal ideas to coping with the news that my baby was gone.
After I had time to process the painful truth I realized underneath all the unanswered questions I just wanted to know there was someone else out there that understood. So I started doing my research. A year later I am still amazed at the results I found for the United States:
- In 2008, out of 6.6 million pregnancies there were 1.2 million fetal losses
- In 2010, there were 6.14 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
- In 2013, almost 24,000 fetal deaths (20 weeks pregnant or more) were reported in the United States
- Every year there are 3,500 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths
- Between 2011 and 2013, 2.1 million women between the ages of 18 and 44 took steps to adopt a child Only .3 million of them successfully adopted a child
- A study done between 2006 and 2010 found:
- 1.5 million married women who are infertile
- 6.7 million women who had issues carrying a baby full term
- 7.4 million women who had used infertility services
These statistics helped me realize how important it is to spread awareness about PILR. So please understand I am not trying to ruin your holiday cheer or spook you before Halloween. This is just my attempt to shine some light on a situation that affects millions of women.
So before you sit at the table and carve pumpkins with your kids or figure out what you are going to be for Halloween I challenge you to do one of the following: Take a moment to write that special woman in your life who has lost a child or a pregnancy. This excludes text messages. Find a card, sign your name, lick that stamp and tell her how much you admire her strength and that you are thinking about her today. Or, if you don’t know someone specific say a prayer for the millions of women who suffer from pregnancy and infant loss. I hope this October, no matter your situation, you find a reason to enjoy the season.
Estimated pregnancy rates and rates of pregnancy outcomes for the United States, 1990–2008 (2008 fetal loss data)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_08.pdf (infant deaths)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_08.pdf (fetal deaths)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm (infertile married women)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db152.htm (2006-2010 study)