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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stillbirth Statistics

From the recent series of articles printed in the British medical journal The Lancet, which coordinated a study with the World Health Organization:
  • 2.6 million third-trimester stillbirths worldwide each year;
  • 1.1 million could be prevented, The Lancet estimates, with simple interventions like folic acid supplements before conception, diabetes management in the mother, and detection of hypertension, among others;
Stillbirths are an invisible public health epidemic, with no national or global initiative to track or prevent.

I don't speak out because I am grieving, or because I am depressed, or because I am dwelling on the fact that Ben is dead. I speak out because I love him, and because if more people know that almost 50% of stillbirths can be prevented, if society has the will to research, fund, and educate the population, (as with SIDS research and education), we can make a huge difference in many, many lives. We can spare parents the sorrow my family has experienced.

Let me make it clear: yes, I still grieve for my son, it's only natural. There are a lifetime of moments I will never experience with him. I miss him, always, every day. I'm here now because I want to make a difference, not because I am dwelling in my loss. You don't get over it, but you learn to incorporate it into your life. That's what I've done.

I can make a difference. That's why I'm here.

3 comments:

Catherine W said...

Those figures are absolutely staggering and heartbreaking. It is awful that it such a silent epidemic with so little funding for research or awareness raising.

I can hear your love for Ben in your words xo

Hope's Mama said...

Exactly why I speak out as well. I don't think the silence helps anyone.
xo

~ said...

I'll spread the love, I'm sorry for your loss. It was an interesting read.