One in four pregnancies will end in a loss and the City of Victoria hopes to shed some light on this issue.
Elana Ilott helped bring it to the attention of Victoria council by sponsoring the recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Awareness Day through the Healing Hearts Foundation.
Ilott lost her first child three years ago. Haven was stillborn at 21 weeks caused by a degradation of various parts of his brain. Illot made a point of making her loss a moment to grow from.
“My husband and I wanted to walk away from the experience and try and integrate it into our lives and make a little bit of difference.”
She said that the loss community is a strong one with support among people going through similar experiences. She did notice a lack of direct services being offered at hospitals.
“With a stillbirth, when you come home without your baby, you’re coming home with your postpartum body; your milk comes in, your hormones are all over the place. There’s a risk of postpartum depression, but there is no support from the health unit. They don’t come and do a home check like if you do come home with a baby and there is no counselling from the hospital.”
She does feel there are lots of great support services available but you have to go out and find them yourselves. Currently, she works for Pregnancy After Loss Support a non-profit that offers various counselling resources for women experiencing loss.
“I hope the proclamation empowers and affirms the loss experience and that more people begin to share their stories.”
Victoria is now among cities around the world that recognize PAIL Awareness Day on Oct. 15.