We at Burnet acknowledge that 15 October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
This is a special day, marked by many countries around the world, to remember pregnancy loss and infant death including miscarriage, stillbirth, and the death of a newborn or infant. Millions of families all over the globe experience these losses and suffer the untold grief associated with them.
For families who have experienced such a loss, it is not just this one day in which a baby is remembered. Such a loss is often remembered every day and in many ways.
The experience of the loss of a baby, however small that baby was, changes many families forever.
We are committed to reducing such losses, to helping improve services and care for women and families to prevent such deaths, but also to improve care when loss is experienced.
Many of our projects are focussed on improving maternal and newborn health, thus reducing the pregnancy and infant loss. For example, we are working with colleagues in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to study ways to reduce risk factors for stillbirth, like malaria in pregnancy. Our work in PNG with colleagues and local communities is also exploring the reasons for stillbirths so that intervention can be implemented in the future to reduce such loss.
We are working on postnatal care to reduce the risk of neonatal infection, improve breastfeeding and increase immunisation rates; all strategies that will reduce deaths. We are also training midwives and community health workers in PNG and other countries in the region to manage emergency situations in pregnancy and childbirth to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
We acknowledge and pay tribute to the millions of families, in Australia and globally, who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. We honour and remember all those loved and longed for babies.
One day will never make the pain go away, but one day can raise awareness, reduce the silence around such loss, increase the community’s understanding of the impact and reality, and hopefully, enable an open, kind and caring conversation.
Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health, Burnet Institute