Menu

It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and grieving parents have a message they want to share

They don't need to be told that "everything happens for a reason." They don't need to be told that they can try again.

It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and grieving parents have a message they want to share

It's a pain that many parents understand, but one that society too often minimizes or ignores.

Today though, people are talking about how one in four women experience a perinatal loss—including miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and online and in cities around the world, parents are coming together to speak the names of the children they can't hold in their arms, but will forever hold in their hearts.

This day and these conversations are so important, because despite it being common, pregnancy and infant loss can feel so isolating.

"It is often disenfranchised grief, a loss that isn't recognized by the greater society," explains Courtney Magahis, a social work therapist in the Center for Reproductive Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women.

Despite the deep pain it can cause, perinatal loss is often minimized in our culture. Sometimes, people lose their babies before they announced their pregnancy, and the bear the burden of the loss alone because no one knew. Sometimes, well-meaning people try to comfort parents by downplaying the loss through comments that seek to highlight a "silver lining", but anyone who has been through it knows this loss is as real as any and it hurts just as much.

If there is one thing for us as a society to take away from the conversations happening today, it's that parents feeling a loss don't need to have their pain minimized. They don't need to be told that "everything happens for a reason." They don't need to be told that they can try again.

According to Magahis, these kinds of comments are not normally helpful. She suggests that when someone in our lives suffers a perinatal loss, we simply let them know that we are there for them. Some people will need to talk about their baby. Some people will need a friend to sit in silence with them and cry. Some will need help repainting the nursery.

The process looks different for everyone, but parents going through this need to be allowed to feel the way they feel, and do what they need to do.

"There really isn't a right or wrong way to grieve. Honor your grief in whichever way it manifests and prioritize taking care of yourself," says Magahis.

Today, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, many parents are having conversations about their loss and speaking their child's name. And tomorrow, the conversations about perinatal loss will continue.

There simply is no silver lining to be found in these conversations, but grieving parents don't need one. They just need their people to acknowledge the cloud. There are so many people standing under it.

You might also like:

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

20 baby names that mean miracle—and will never go out of style

In these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Meaningful baby names will never go out of style. Whether you decide to name your newborn after a beloved family member, or are simply searching for a name that reflects the journey that led you to parenthood, whatever you choose will stick with you for the rest of your—and your child's—life.

Almost every parent, at some point, refers to their child as a "miracle," though the meaning of the word itself might differ depending on who you're talking to. Miracle is a beautiful word that can double as a name, but there are many other thoughtful baby names to choose from if you're considering giving your baby a name that suggests an extraordinary event, a gift from above or a rare wonder.

Whether you're looking for a familiar name with a miraculous history, such as Aaron, or you're searching for a unique name that means "rare miracle," such as Ender, there are so many choices for both girls and boys that are equally as meaningful as they are interesting. Choosing a baby name with the special meaning of "miracle" is a signal of hope and optimism—and in these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Putting a unique twist on a beautiful classic isn't hard with these baby names that mean "miracle."

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play