Governor Doug Burgum has proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month and October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In North Dakota, approximately 59 pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth each year (after 20 weeks of pregnancy).
“By bringing awareness to infant loss, parents and families can find that they are not alone in this process of grief and can find support in others who have experienced this difficult loss,” said Elizabeth Oestreich, North Dakota Injury Prevention Program director.
North Dakota Health and Human Services is partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention campaign, to educate and encourage expectant parents about the importance of paying attention to their baby’s movements in the third trimester. Research shows that outcomes improve when expectant parents track their babies’ movements daily and learn how long it normally takes their baby to get to 10 movements.
In 2021, there were 27 infant deaths in North Dakota. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is the leading cause of death among infants between the age of one month and one year in the nation. Nationally, about 3,400 babies suddenly die unexpectedly each year.
On October 15, consider participating in the International Wave of Light by lighting a candle at 7 p.m. local time to honor all babies gone too soon. Keep your candle lit for at least one hour to create a continuous “wave of light” across all time zones covering the entire globe. For more information on the International Wave of Light, visit October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month NeverBeStill (starlegacyfoundation.org)