This Saturday, 15 October, marks International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Families across Australia will be uniting to light candles at 7pm in an effort to raise awareness about stillbirth.
Ashleigh Rousseaux lost her son Dominic at 39 weeks pregnant and chose the day to announce his birth and death.
“It’s a day that holds a very special place in our hearts,” she said.
“For those people who have experienced or been touched by a loss like ours, we urge you get involved with your local event or light a candle at home. It’s a wonderful way for the community to come together and show their support for those who need it.”
Andre Carvalho, CEO of Sands Australia, says the day is very important for the many Australian families who have experienced grief caused by the death of a baby.
“It’s a day for reflection and remembrance, and it’s also a time to help raise awareness among the greater community,” he said.
The not-for-profit organisation is organising a number of memorial events across the country, including candle lighting ceremonies and memorial services.
“We urge families, friends and members of the community to get involved. Join us for a walk or light a candle to show your support,” Carvalho said.
One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, impacting 103,000 Australian families every year, according to Sands.
The stillbirth rate is just as staggering, with a new report from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggesting that it has increased over the past two decades.
“A child dies every four hours in Australia from stillbirth and the impact this has on families lasts a lifetime,” said Stillbirth Foundation Australia General Manager, Victoria Bowring.
“Stillbirth is too often dealt with in silence and tomorrow allows families and friends to come together to support each other while they remember their lost loved one.” she added.
To find out about stillbirth and donate visit: stillbirthfoundation.org.au
Anyone affected by the death of a baby can ring the 24/7 Sands support line 1300 0 72637 and talk to a Volunteer Parent Supporter or visit: www.sands.org.au T: @SandsAustralia F: www.facebook.com/sands.australia