Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stillbirth & SUID Prevention, Education, & Awareness Act

I've blogged about this before, and I hope the next time I blog about it I'll be able to tell you that Congress has passed this act and the hard work of saving baby's lives has begun.

The Stillbirth & SUID Prevention, Education & Awareness Act would provide research money to investigate stillbirth and SUID as well as create a national databank of infant deaths, potentially leading to prevention of infant death. (And I realize I am preaching to the choir, but I hope someone might stumble on this and become informed.)

Why? Well, about 26,000 babies are stillborn in the US every year. 50% of those deaths are unexplained. That's 13,000 babies.

Let me repeat that: 13,000 babies are stillborn each year AND NO ONE KNOWS WHY.

Another 4,600 babies succumb to SUID (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death) in the first year of life. Another 200 children between the ages of 1 and 4 die for no apparent reason.

Let's tally that up: 26,000 + 4,600 + 200 = 30,800.

30,800 - 13,000 (babies who are stillborn and the cause is known) = 17,800.

Approximately 17,800 babies die each year without discernible cause.

That is not acceptable.

If this bill is passed, it might be possible to discover why many of those 17,800 babies die, and it might be possible to prevent babies from dying in the future.

For more information, please visit the CJ Foundation for SIDS. There is a link on the home page where you can click and write a letter to your members of Congress.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

International Women's Day - March 8

Monday is International Women's Day, and I've joined a community of bloggers around the world who are blogging about women and hunger as part of a World Food Programme initiative to raise awareness for the one billion people around the world who go to bed hungry every night.

From the WFP website:

"Some 60 percent of the world’s chronically hungry people are women and girls. This is because women often have unequal access to resources, education and income, and because they participate less in decision-making.

And when hunger and undernutrition affect women, they also affect their children. More than 19 million children are born annually with low birth weight, often the result of their mothers receiving inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy.

Women as solution

In many countries, women form the backbone of the agricultural sector and food systems, making up the bulk of agricultural labourers.They also play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the entire household.

Experience shows that in the hands of women, food is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children."

What can we do to help?

- Make a donation: 25 cents is all it takes to fill a cup to feed a hungry schoolchild a meal. $16 US dollars buys a 25 kilo sack of rice.
- Play the online game Free Rice, which asks you to define words (improving your vocabulary in a fun way! great for word nerds like me) and donates rice for every word you correctly define.
- Spread the word, through your blog, Facebook, Twitter or other online social group. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For Grieving Dads

Kelly Farley, a bereaved father of a daughter and a son, has created a website for grieving dads. He is aiming to write a book designed just for grieving fathers, and I must say, I think this would be a welcome addition to grief literature. Here's a bit from his site, Grieving Dads.

"This project is designed to reach out to all bereaved dads and to provide a conduit to share their stories. One of my goals is to bring awareness to the impacts that child loss has on fathers and to let society know that it’s okay for a father to grieve the loss of a child. A father shouldn’t have to hide his pain or feel ashamed to show his emotions."

He is looking for fathers to answer some questions, via his website, as part of his research for the book. If you, or your spouse/partner, or someone you know, might be able to help him out, send them his link.