The Palaszczuk Government is encouraging greater awareness and recognition for parents and families who have experienced the heartbreaking loss of an infant through pregnancy.
Minister for Justice, Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, held annually on 15 October – is a chance to memorialise those babies lost through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
“It is important to recognise that tragically one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage in Queensland, with Australia experiencing a stillbirth rate higher than many other countries,” Minister Fentiman said.
“For families who experience infant loss, every day is an upsetting reminder of what they have lost, one that is not often talked about, yet experienced by so many.
“However, this day provides a chance to dispel any social barriers or shame experienced by parents and encourage them to receive the support they deserve.
“I would like to recognise the strength and dignity of parents, families, and the broader communities of Queensland as they travel through their heartbreaking loss.
“We need to recognise the loss experienced by so many Queensland families and raise awareness of this issue of pregnancy and infant loss in Queensland.
“You are not in this alone, and your voices should never be silent on this issue.”
The Palaszczuk Government invests $7.7 million in funding for perinatal and infant health services and allocates $8.4 million to 21 Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services, as highlighted in the 2021-22 Women’s Budget Statement.
Minister Fentiman said Queensland had a strong history of providing support to women.
“We know experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth can be an extremely emotional time, that’s why we have made sure Queensland government employees have access to two days bereavement leave if they or their spouse suffers a miscarriage and the full 14 weeks paid leave if an employee experiences a stillbirth,” she said.
“We will also begin community consultation soon to develop the next Queensland Women’s Strategy, which will address support for women’s health and well-being across the course of their lives.
“Women’s health and wellbeing will remain a key priority in the strategy, and on Queensland’s roadmap going forward.”
Minister Fentiman highlighted that an opportunity existed in Queensland to help families honour the memory of their child taken too early.
“The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages offers parents who experience a pregnancy loss up to 20 weeks gestation an optional recognition certificate, free of charge,” she said.
“This is a small way to help families commemorate and acknowledge this life and assist in their personal mourning process.”