For most people in the Northeast, October is a time for cool crisp days, hayrides, and pumpkin picking.  Many would be surprised that this October also marks the 20th anniversary of President Regan signing a proclamation invoking a national observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

The goal of the proclamation is to increase our understanding  of what it is like to lose an unborn or newborn baby.  The hope was  that through this effort there would be help for bereaved parents and their families.

The statistics about miscarriage are staggering.  One in five pregnancies end in
miscarriage.  This equates to over 1 million miscarriages a year in the United States alone. Miscarriage is a real loss: one that needs to be grieved for.  Importantly it is a different kind of loss in that there are no memories, no stories to reminisce about or pictures to look at.  There is only the loss of potential, the loss of the dreams and hopes of the baby that will never be fulfilled.

While miscarriage is common, it is not commonly discussed.  There are many reasons why.  Fear of not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing.  Fear of reminding the person of their loss. Feeling uncomfortable discussing a difficult situation.

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