Light a candle for little lives lost

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October 15 marks International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day that remembers babies lost due to still birth, miscarriage and neonatal death. Every year, over 106,000 Australian parents and families experience the death of a baby.

To remember the brief yet meaningful lives of those babies lost, bereaved parents and families across Australia will help create a wave of light across the globe when they light a candle in their memory.

Memorial services and remembrance walks will be held by not-for-profit organisation, Sands Australia, who offer support services to parents and families who have experienced the loss of a baby, in various locations in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

Sands CEO, Andre Carvalho, explained International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day for reflection and remembrance, and it’s also a time to help raise awareness among the greater community. “There are many bereaved parents who suffer in isolation, feeling desperate, alone and without hope. The remembrance walks, memorial services and candle lighting ceremonies, run by the Sands Volunteer Parent Supporters, allow those experiencing grief to come together and feel supported.”

With a National 24/7 Helpline, strong support groups held across many states, a live web chat support service and regular information sessions for midwives and healthcare professionals, Carvalho explained that Sands are able to connect with bereaved parents in Australia, regardless of their location or cultural background. “We are committed to providing the best possible support to parents and families who experience the death of a baby, as well as offering resources and education to healthcare professionals,” he said.

Carvalho believes hosting events to coincide with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will continue to strengthen support and drive awareness of a subject that unfortunately still remains taboo for many. He hopes that these community events will encourage a more open and informed society, making this issue a talking point for Australians – not just behind closed doors.

If you have gone through the loss of a child and need support, please call 1300 072 637. If you want to join the dedicated volunteers who help the community, call (03) 9374 5400 or visit the Sands Australia website at www.sands.org.au.

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