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October 2022: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

WHEREAS, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month; and encouraged the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities; and,

WHEREAS, pregnancy is usually a time of excitement and expectation as parents prepare for the arrival of their baby; and,

WHEREAS, tragically, approximately 1 in 4 women in the United States suffers a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss; and,

WHEREAS, many of these parents live in, deliver in, have a child die in, or have buried a child in our community; and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, there were 706 infant deaths in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, such death has occurred through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth, neo-natal death, birth defects, sudden unexplained death of a child (SUDC), sleep-related deaths including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), illness, accidents, and all other types of infants and early childhood death; and,

WHEREAS, the loss of a child is a traumatic and heartbreaking event as families recognize that even a short life is impactful, and the grief of those who mourn the loss of these lives should be remembered by a compassionate public; the observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day aims to provide some comfort to those who have lost a child through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, infant loss or other complications; and,

WHEREAS, Keys of Hope, a 501 c(3) nonprofit organization was founded in Saginaw Michigan on April 24, 2019 by Saginaw natives, Anesha and Ronald, on what would’ve been the due date of their fifth baby that died due to an ectopic pregnancy, with a mission to break the silence, support families, and promote the awareness of pregnancy and infant loss, infertility, and maternal and infant health and wellness in the Great Lakes Bay Region; and,

WHEREAS, Keys of Hope and many other nonprofit and organizations work with thousands of parents all over Michigan, the Great Lakes Bay Region, and across the United States who have experienced the death of a child during pregnancy through early childhood; and,

WHEREAS, pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15 calls attention to how, as individuals and a community, we can help meet the needs of bereaved mothers, fathers, and family members, and work to recognize grief and to honor the courage of families who have lost a child; and,

WHEREAS, bereaved parents around the world remember their children annually on October 15th with a candle lighting at 7 p.m. Some will remember their child/children in their homes while others will remember them in gatherings around the state, across the nation and around the world; and this would unify these parents in tribute to their children;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2022 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and October 15, 2022, as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in Michigan.