Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month
Community volunteers assembled on the grass quad in front of Sentara Norfolk General to set 649 blue and pink pinwheels in the shape of the awareness ribbon. The pinwheels will be on display throughout October, representing the number of infants who died in our Hampton Roads region between 2015 and 2019.
Kennedy’s Angel Gowns is thrilled to join Aetna, Anthem Health Keepers Plus, and Sentara Norfolk General this month. Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Consortium for Infant Child Health, Healthy Start/Loving Steps, and Minus 9 to 5 gathered these organizations to lead the charge and provide a platform for remembrance, awareness, and education.
Heather Wilson, the founder of Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, expressed “Can you believe we’re standing in this moment right now?” as she placed pink pinwheels on the lawn. “We have a space on this lawn at the hospital for this (awareness display)…this is a cause that never gets this kind of attention!”
Accompanying the pinwheels are awareness signs that include a QR code to access additional information and resources related to pregnancy and infant loss (view here).
The Maternity Family Center and the Brickhouse Conference breezeway also have awareness ribbons constructed of pink and blue paper hearts and posters with resources and information.
Megan Buchholz, Director of the Sentara Norfolk General Family Maternity Center; Kim Breo, Lactation Consultant; and Deb Dougherty, Bereavement Coordinator for the center, are significant partners in this awareness campaign. When asked to share their space for the ribbon installation, Ms. Buchholz didn’t hesitate.
“Pregnancy and infant loss have historically been topics no one wants to discuss. Our families and communities need support and education around these difficult topics. I’m grateful for the partnership we have with EVMS to bring awareness and resources to our community,” she says.
Nationally, 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. Locally, one in 100 babies doesn’t make it to their first birthday. The Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Healthy Start/Loving Steps program distributes 100 resource gift bags throughout October to expecting mothers during their perinatal visits at the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Office of Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Learn more about Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and share your thoughts in a comment.