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My Sweet Angel

My Sweet Angel
4/6/09 4:45 pm 4 lbs 1 oz 17 inches

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Raising Awareness

In keeping with the first part of my mission for Elise's Honor Family Event, I want to educate people about stillbirth.  If you have made it to my site, than I have already raised your awareness, but that is not enough.  If you know me personally then you have seen first hand how this tragedy impacts people, but if you don't know me, it is still sort of an enigma...something that only happens to other people.  I think the hardest part for me is that most of the time I am "ok" so it probably looks from the outside that "I am over it"  or maybe people think I am "dwelling" on it, but if you truly take a minute to step back and think about it, I think it is easy to see that none of this is true.  Far too often I hear "I can't imagine" and I think the truth of the matter is people don't WANT to imagine.  Who would want to think about their baby dying?  I'm not suggesting you do, I'm just suggesting you really think about what it must be like to live nearly 9 months, growing, creating, protecting, loving, planning a new life inside of you only to have it taken away in an instant.  So, what about miscarriage, those who experience a miscarriage only "knew" their baby for a few weeks...LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, you only need to know for a second that you are pregnant with a baby for your ENTIRE life to change....your daily routines, your plans for the future, your hopes, your dreams, and again all are shattered without warning and there is usually ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about it.  It is completely devastating.
But, I digress... :)
Here are some facts about stillbirth:
  • Stillbirth is defined as the death of a baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy or greater in the United States (other countries use different ages...The World Health Organization defines a stillbirth as the death of a baby after 22 completed weeks of pregnancy, or when the baby weighs at least 500 grams)
  • Babies die in the womb for many reasons, Stillbirth is NOT a cause of death. It is a description of when a baby dies. Rarely are these deaths caused by something a woman did or did not do. 
  • According to the most recent statistics available, the United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world (the highest for Industrialized countries). 
  •  More than 26,000 babies are stillborn every year, with more than half occurring during the last trimester of pregnancy(some statistics say as many as 30,000 babies are stillborn a year in the United States, but there is a lack of consistent standards of stillbirth reporting resulting in the dscrepency.)
  • 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO)  12,000 women worldwide deliver a stillborn baby each day.
  • Approximately 1 out of every 115-160 (depending on statistics) deliveries in the United States ends in stillbirth.   
  • Anywhere from 70-90 babies are born still each day in the United States.
  • There are no identifiable risk factors for stillbirth and they cut across all socio-economic classes, races, religions, body types and maternal age groups.  They are completely unpredictable.
  • Most babies lost during pregnancy are completely healthy. 
  • Only 28 states offer a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.  It usually takes YEARS of campaigning to get a bill passed for this.   Maryland was the 5th state to offer CBRS
  • Another 500,000 are lost to miscarriage (death of an infant in-utero before 20 gestational weeks) each year.   
  • 1 in 4 women will be affected by pregnancy loss 


Monkey's Mommy said...

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you in raising awareness.

~The Bargain Babe said...

I saw your guest post on I can Teach My Child. I too have a child that was stillborn at full term. Also in 2009. ((hugs))

Cathy said...

I know your loss. Two of my babies where stillborn. First a son(he had spina bifida)second a daughter(cord around neck). Owen would now be 34 and Elizabeth 29. When they where born things where very different. You where just to go home and get over it. If you told most people that your baby was stillborn they had no idea what you meant and many still have no idea. So thank you for spreading the word. It has taken me many years to speak about them without tears (everytime). This needs to be talked about. You are doing a great service.

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