Members Statement: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

18 October 2023

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With October marking Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month I would like to share two local events I attended last weekend to remember babies who have left us too soon. I first attended Hope Bereavement Care’s Walk to Remember. After releasing doves to start the walk, families strolled along Geelong waterfront in honour of their babies. I was there to remember our girl Georgia, born sleeping in 2008. Wind and rain did not deter us, and I thank Hope Bereavement for hosting each year to allow families the time to honour their angels.

On Sunday I attended the Geelong Cemeteries Trust’s ceremony, which again provided a beautiful space to remember, and we all lit candles at 7 pm as part of the global Wave of Light. Hundreds of parents each year experience pregnancy or infant loss, and it is more common than you realise. What hurts the most in grief is the silence, with many unsure how to talk about it. I hope that sharing my own story and supporting events such as these helps break that silence. Tomorrow here in Parliament an organisation called Pink Elephants will provide information and peer support for anyone impacted by early pregnancy loss. Today I offer my thoughts to parents who experience this loss. To the friends and families who may not be sure what to say to those who are going through this loss, this is my best advice: please say the baby’s name out loud. It is a hard conversation, but there is nothing more special than hearing your baby’s name, as they still lit up our lives, even for a short amount of time.