Why Appreciate Miscarriage Awareness Month?

Miscarriage awareness month image of woman and baby

On October 25, 1988, I was nursing my three-month-old baby boy at home. I was 19 and had no idea that I would be impacted by the proclamation that President Ronald Reagan signed on that day. After all, it would be six more years before I would miscarry my second son. I did not recognize the value or importance of the moment as the president would officially declare October as Miscarriage Awareness month. An excerpt from the proclamation reads:

“Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988, allows us to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems.”

This proclamation that sparks passion in me now was simply words on paper back then. However, the insight the president had to bring comfort to hurting parents through recognizing the specific needs of families experiencing the unthinkable loss of a child was quite insightful.

Miscarriage Awareness Month's History

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since 1988! Grief and loss can be a motivator to create change.

Miscarriage awareness day 44 miscarriages occur every minute

In 2002, ​Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown and Tammy Novak came together as grieving mothers to strategize on securing proclamations of support from every state. After that, in 2006, the U.S House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting National Miscarriage Awareness Month. Then, in 2016, spearheaded by Robyn Bear’s group, “Remembering Our Babies,” all 50 states had proclamations honoring Miscarriage Awareness Month in October and Miscarriage Awareness Day on October 15.

What It Represents

The stigma of shame and silence is now pivoting to education, comfort and healing through the focus on Miscarriage Awareness Month. Additionally, awareness ribbons are a popular way to unite people and increase understanding of specific causes. Although Napoleon Bonaparte’s quote, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon,” is about military reward and honor, the French military leader and emperor understood the impact of a symbol. Today, light pink and blue ribbons identify those observing and advocating for Miscarriage Awareness Month.

Amber Hackney, LCSW, explains, “Grieving in silence has been a way of life for many hurting parents. October is a time when people share their stories, and there is healing in knowing you’re not alone, and there are people and organizations who care.”

Perhaps there isn’t a more prolific expression of the grief experienced than in the following excerpt:

A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.

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I asked a friend, Megan Reinhard, about her thoughts on Miscarriage Awareness Month. She says, “I think my miscarriages are not something I want to sit and discuss, but it is nice when my loss is acknowledged. A simple text saying, “Thinking of you today,” is appreciated. Often, the loss of my children feels as if their lives have been “swept under a rug,” and at times, that can be hurtful. Personally, I feel like people even remembering our babies is valuable.”

Bible verse for miscarriage awareness month day

When considering Megan’s statement, it is no surprise that a meaningful symbol for pregnancy loss is the flower “Forget Me Not.”  Consequently, a bouquet of these dainty sky-blue and pink versions of the flower is a lovely reminder of a mom’s eternal love for her child. As a mother who has experienced a miscarriage, I can say that when people remember my child, it sure feels like they remember me.

Celebrating Miscarriage Awareness Month

Appreciating Miscarriage Awareness Month can take many forms, but outward displays of inward compassion can bring attention to loss and the need to prevent more loss in the future. Some participants express support by:

Miscarriage awareness day graphic of how to recognize and celebrate
  1. Adorning a tree, clothing or backpack with a blue and pink ribbon
  2. Displaying a bouquet or a card depicting the symbol of love with the Forget Me Not Flower as a remembrance or sent to a loved one
  3. Lighting and displaying pink and blue candles
  4. Wearing a shirt, button or sticker
  5. Making a call or text someone you know who has had a loss; i.e., “I know it is Miscarriage Awareness Month, and I want you to know I’m thinking about you. I haven’t forgotten.”

Remembering a family’s loss in October is a way to celebrate the joy of life and share the sorrow of loss with those who experience personal and profound tragedy. After all, the embodiment of Miscarriage Awareness Month is love.

John 13:35 reads, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV) 

October is an opportunity to express the nature and heart of God and gives us all a chance to love one another.

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