Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Date October 15
Next time 15 October 2014 (2014-10-15)
Frequency annual

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death, which includes but is not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn. It is observed annually in the United States and Canada and, in recent years, in the United Kingdom and in the Australian States of Western Australia and New South Wales, in Italy on behalf of a charity named Piccoli Angeli[1] on October 15.

The day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils, concluding with the International Wave of Light, a worldwide lighting of candles at 7:00 p.m.

History[edit]

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in the United States on October 25, 1988, when then-American President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.[2]

The October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) Campaign began in 2002 as an American movement started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak. Together, they petitioned the federal government, as well as the governors of each of the 50 states, and by October 15, 2002 (the first observance of PAILRD), 20 states had signed proclamations recognizing the date as such. As a result of the American campaign effort, Concurrent Resolution 222, Supporting the goals and ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was passed in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2006.[3] To date, all 50 American states have yearly proclamations, with Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and South Dakota adopting permanent proclamations.[4]

The Director of the Canadian Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness and Remembrance Campaign, Terra-Lynn Coggan, joined the American movement in September 2004 and took on the role as the Canadian Director for October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and began the Canadian Campaign. The Organizer of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness "A Walk To Remember" in Vernon, B.C., Jennifer Patrick started her fundraiser campaign in October 2004 after the stillbirth of her son Connor. In October 2005 Patrick worked with the Attorney General to help get a Proclamation approved. In 2012 and 2013 British Columbia proclaimed October 15 again as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.[5]

On October 12, 2005, when New Brunswick recognized October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Coggan resigned as the Canadian Director for the American Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Campaign and independently launched The Canadian Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness and Remembrance Campaigns.[citation needed] Since New Brunswick’s Declaration of October 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day the province of Nova Scotia has followed suit with a similar declaration. The provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are currently considering a declaration.[citation needed]

The campaign for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in Australia began in May 2008 when Nicole Ballinger of the State of New South Wales (NSW) approached her State and Federal MPs to request their help in establishing this Day.[6] Although aiming for a nationwide declaration, Ballinger took this two-pronged approach as she had been advised that federal motions often get passed once they are first passed at the State level. Guided by her MPs, Joanna Gash (Federal) and Shelley Hancock (State), Ballinger lobbied both levels of government beginning in 2008: utilizing petitions, the internet and social media, and repeated correspondence with Australian Prime Ministers, NSW Premiers, Health Ministers, Senators and other MPs. In support, Gash and Hancock continued to present this motion in parliament at the State[7] and Federal[8] levels.

On October 14, 2011, Hancock and NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced the official declaration of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in NSW.[1] To date, Ballinger continues to lobby the Australian government, with the support of Gash, to get Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day officially declared across Australia.[citation needed]

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day[edit]

Contrary to the popular belief that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is internationally legislated and observed as an international day of remembrance, this is not the case.

Through the legislative campaigns of individuals world wide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is becoming an international day of observation. Germany and most other non-English speaking countries do not observe this day.

List of PILR Day Campaigns[edit]

American federal campaign[edit]

As a result of the American campaign effort, Concurrent Resolution 222, supporting the goals and ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, was passed in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. House Concurrent Resolution 222 proclaims October 15 of each year to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States.[3]

Canadian federal campaign[edit]

Logo-CanFfP&ILRd.jpg

The Canadian Foundation for October 15, also known as the CFO is the official foundation of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Canada. The CFO is leading the federal campaign to recognize October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Canada.

The goal of the CFO is to obtain an official day of remembrance, October 15 of each year, to ensure that all Canadian families who experience the loss of a child during pregnancy or shortly after birth are given the opportunity to acknowledge their loss, seek support, and honor their child’s memory in an understanding and supportive atmosphere.

The CFO works to promote national and international pregnancy loss and infant death awareness, remembrance, and support enabling the larger community the knowledge and skills required to assist and meet the needs of families who experience pregnancy loss and infant death.

New Brunswick[edit]

New Brunswick was the first province in Canada to officially recognize October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Through the lobbying efforts of Terra-Lynn Coggan, a Saint John resident with the assistance of Saint John-Champlain MLA Roly MacIntyre,[citation needed] on October 15, 2005, New Brunswick Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Elvy Robichaud declared October 15 to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day across the province, saying that "Miscarriage and infant death are a source of grief, often silent, for mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents."

He called on provincial residents to help promote "support, education and awareness for grieving parents who have lost infants during pregnancy or shortly after birth.[9]

International Wave of Light[edit]

The International Wave of Light invites participants from around the world to light a candle in honor of PAILRD, starting at 1900 hours on October 15 in their respective time zones, and to leave the candle burning for at least an hour. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period in honor and remembrance of the children who die during pregnancy or shortly after birth.[10]

See also[edit]

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep ~ Infant Remembrance Photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Day Set Aside to Remember Lost Children" (Press release). Liberal Party of Australia, New South Wales. 
  2. ^ Reagan, Ronald (1988-10-25). "Proclamation 5890 -- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  3. ^ a b UNITED STATES, SENATE (2006-09-28). "H. CON. RES. 222 Supporting the goals and ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.". THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  4. ^ http://www.rememberingourbabies.net/store/WsAboutus.asp
  5. ^ "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day". october15.ca. April 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day". New South Wales, Australia Hansard. October 23, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day". New South Wales, Australia Hansard. October 22, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day". OpenAustralia.org. February 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ Robichaud, Elvy. Declaration by Hon. Elvy Robichaud, Minister, Health and Wellness: New Brunswick Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. October 2005. New Brunswick Department of Health and Wellness.
  10. ^ http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171146237060&ref=nf