Bringing awareness to lives lost too soon

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness ribbon. Photo courtesy

Last Thursday, Oct. 1, model, television personality, author and entrepreneur Chrissy Teigen grieved the loss of her newborn child. The wife of singer John Legend took to social media, sharing the sad news as they hoped to soon be leaving the hospital with their newborn son.

Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real,” Teigen tweeted.

On Instagram, Teigen shared in more detail what had occurred, sharing heart-wrenching hospital photos of an unforgettable and unforeseen moment to the world.

We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain weve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasnt enough.”

Chrissy Teigen in recent years has become known for being very open with her life and opinions, becoming personable through her social media. For many, it is not a shocker for her being vocal and transparent during this time. Teigen is among very few who are able to publicly go through personal hardships of this nature while sharing encouraging words to others.

The month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. During the entire month, time is taken to honor and remember those who have lost a child during pregnancy or lost a child in infancy. Many of these stories are often not talked about due to the lack of awareness. Although being disturbingly common, it is not typical for families to be as open when going through such experiences.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan first declared this month of awareness. When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isnt a word to describe them,” Reagan said in his declaration speech.

Not only is this month dedicated to the awareness of losing a child but it also provides resources to the families that are grieving. Many families mourn in silence from unbearable pain, suffering, and even shame of losing a child. During this month many programs and initiatives are put in place to allow people to freely share their stories among people who have been in their shoes. Efforts are made to provide help for those who are grieving.

Ivy Margulies, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist who specializes in pregnancy and infant loss, told Good Morning America” that women often feel guilty for the loss of their child. They feel like they failed, their body failed and their body didnt protect their baby.”

Despite the raw emotions, Chrissy Teigen felt, she still shared her experience, receiving an overwhelming response from other celebrities, fans and families. Actress Melissa Fumero shared, I am so astonished by and in complete awe of your bravery. You just made so many women feel seen by sharing this intimate grief.”

It is imperative that people continue to raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. Space needs to be created to allow women and families to feel and heal without being discouraged or singled out in a time of need.