Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day to remember all the babies which have been lost during pregnancy or birth.
Today we honour the estimated 106,000 babies across Australia who lose their lives to miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death each year.
Mackay mother Carmen Boulton knows the heartbreak of losing an infant and the devastation of not being able to take their dearly loved baby home.
“My daughter Ava Mae was born sleeping at 35+4 weeks in 2018 and it was devastating, more than words can explain,” Carmen said.
“I was able to spend a night with Ava in a cuddle cot so I could touch and hold her like any other newborn. We had professional photos taken and hand and foot moulds made to create some permanent memories.
“In the weeks and months after, seeing other mothers with their babies was hard because all I wanted was to hold my baby. My son Braxten was three at the time and he would often ask questions about Ava and why she wasn’t here, it was just a very difficult time.”
Carmen was a guest speaker in February at My Baby Matters, a workshop for midwives and health professionals wanting to make a difference in supporting parents who experience stillbirth.
“This was a great opportunity to raise awareness and speak on infant loss. It is a topic very close to my heart, so it was good to speak in front of health professionals about the grieving process mothers and families go through,” she said.
Mackay HHS midwife Allison Davis said acknowledging all babies who are miscarried, born sleeping or who passed not long after birth is what the Remembrance Day is all about.
“This is a day is for communities to acknowledge the little lives lost and to be with the parents and families in solidarity of their loss and grief,” Allison said.
Allison said while some events may look a little different this year due to COVID-19 measures, families who have experienced the loss of a baby are encouraged to continue with special traditions.
“Some families like to light a candle and speak their name. The important message is to keep the memory alive. Not only on this day but every day.”