Ottawa – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health said: “October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This is a special time to support the thousands of people across Canada who are mourning the loss of a baby as a result of an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth or death in infancy.
“Pregnancy or infant loss is profound and touches parents, family members, friends and healthcare providers. It is a complex and unique tragedy, which can be difficult to talk about. Grief is the normal response to losing a loved one, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve after a loss. If you know someone who has experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, please reach out to them. You can learn more about what you can say or do to communicate and listen with compassion here.
“As I said on World Maternal Mental Health Day this year, parents who are struggling do not have to carry their tragic burden alone or in silence. If you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss yourself, I extend my sincere condolences for your loss and encourage you to reach out to your partner, friends and family for help, and talk to a health care provider to ensure you receive the care and support you need based on your symptoms and circumstances.
“You can also access Wellness Together Canada for free, 24/7 professional services and mental health resources, and Baby’s Breath Canada for important grief support and resources. More and more courageous parents are also sharing their baby loss experiences as part of their own healing process and as a way of helping other people cope with pregnancy and infant loss. The Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines provide guidance to healthcare professionals to support families through perinatal loss and grief. Additionally, the Joint Statement on Safe Sleep and the guide on Safe Sleep for Your Baby provide advice to healthcare providers and parents on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant deaths.
“Programs which support the mental health of pregnant and postpartum individuals are incredibly important to our government. Together, we can break the silence around pregnancy and infant loss, fight the stigma parents, and especially women, face after baby loss, and bring awareness to pre-natal and perinatal mental health. Join me in lighting a candle in memory of those who were taken too soon. The lighting of candles at different time zones will form a global “Wave of Light” going around the earth. Use #WaveOfLight and #babylossawareness on social media to share your story and show your support.”