Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: a Surprise Unanimous Vote

October 15th has been officially declared as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day across the USA, and in parts of Canada. And though it has not yet been declared in Australia, hope is well on the horizon.

New South Wales (NSW) is the country’s most populous State. On Oct. 22nd the NSW Parliament voted unanimously in favour of calling on their government to consider declaring this Remembrance Day across NSW. So while it is not official yet, it’s a huge step in the right direction.

Just a few of the highlights from the Hansard (official parliamentary report):

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is still a problem in one in 2,000 births. That is a reduction over the past 15 years, from one in 500. We have come a long way as a result of extensive public messages about the need for everybody to be conscious of the preventative measures…It is only through everybody knowing about early pregnancy loss that we can do something to improve the public health messages that may reduce the pregnancy loss rate” – Dr Andrew McDonald MP

“Often the tragedy of pregnancy loss affects the families involved for generations, because the depression… often…affects people’s ability to parent their children. I have found both untreated depression and post-traumatic stress disorder to be extremely common” – Dr Andrew McDonald MP

“Our sixth child, Gabrielle, was full term but died two days after she was born. It is now 25 years later but the pain remains the same – it never goes away. It does not matter what counselling or assistance you receive, it is such a personal thing that it never leaves you” – Mr Grant McBride MP

“What we are doing in this Parliament will be of enormous help to whole range of people. I commend the member for South Coast for moving this motion—it is not often when I commend Opposition members. This is a very important matter”– Mr Grant McBride MP

“It is not just the grief of a mother, but the grief of a father, siblings and other family members. It goes on and on, and has so many effects on people’s lives” – Mrs. Shelley Hancock MP

Wait till you read more here – the Hansard is a real “page turner”!

Please note: 

  • As an Australian, together with my MPs, I have been lobbying our governments to get Oct. 15th formally recognized ‘Down Under’.
  • I would like to thank Terra-Lynn Coggan, and the other members of PILARI for their support. Terra-Lynn was the driving force in getting Oct. 15th first officially recognized in Canada, and she remains tireless in further campaigns related to pregnancy and infant loss. Terra-Lynn has been an ongoing inspiration and a source of great support, during our Australian struggle.
  • I would like to also thank my local MPs: Mrs. Shelley Hancock (State) and Mrs Joanna Gash (Federal) for their ongoing support and efforts. As Shelley notes in the Hansard, together they are making a two-pronged approach – with the ultimate aim of getting Oct. 15th recognised across Australia.
  • Therefore, the petition on this website is still gathering names: please consider adding yours. Thank you.
  • Finally, in the Hansard, Shelley first mentions that this Day is important for women who have lost babies, and refers to miscarriage and stillbirth. Please note that, later in the Hansard, Shelley also mentions fathers, families and others in need of support. The Hansard also clearly emphasizes the importance of supporting families who have lost babies after birth too.

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