Nearly one in four pregnancies in ends in loss and sadly, early pregnancy loss, stillbirth and infant loss are deeply painful experiences that many families face daily, but they receive little attention. This awareness month hopes to bring these families and their struggles to light so that others who may be dealing with these same struggles know they aren’t alone.
Early pregnancy loss is the most common type of loss. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in early pregnancy loss. When fetal death occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is called stillbirth. These tragic deaths occur in about 1 in 160 pregnancies.
Millions of mothers and fathers do not know where to turn for grieving support after losing a child. Bereaved families long for ways to honor their deceased babies and October is nationally recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. While child loss may be a more common occurrence than people think, there are still far too many families that face the devastating moments alone, desperate for support before, during or after the loss of a baby.
SHARE is a support group dedicated to comforting and assisting families who have experienced the loss of infants. Its mission is to serve those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life. SHARE began in 1977 at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, and has since grown to over 90 chapters across the continent, serving nearly 20,000 people each year.
Although HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital’s SHARE support group is not meeting currently, St. Mary’s offers one-on-one counseling in person or over the phone for those who have experienced a loss and are needing support. To set up a support visit at the hospital or over the phone, please contact Karla Thornton at 217-464-2045 or email Karla.Thornton@hshs.org