Touching tribute to Australia’s lost babies

Stillbirth is the leading cause of death in children under 12 months old. Today is Pregnancy Infant Loss and Remembrance Day and a special tribute will remember the babies that never got to come home.

Stillbirth affects six families a day in this country, according to Stillbirth Foundation Australia. Yet the topic is not widely spoken about and the grief carried privately by those who have experienced the heartbreak of losing a baby.

An Australia-wide community of supporters will be built through the I Am That Statistic campaign and website, which has gone live today on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Parents will be able to publicly record their baby’s name, birth date and city of birth while sharing photos.

The posts will highlight the number of babies stillborn each year and more than 130 families have added their support to the campaign so far.

Teneille Milburn Breen has included the story of her daughter Alora, stillborn on October 27, 2014.

“While I suffered the most unimaginable loss, which will forever be part of my life’s story, I will always cherish the time I had with my precious Alora,” Teneille says. “We will always remember her. Alora has given us the strength to break the silence of stillbirth.

“She has also introduced me to the most inspirational women through online support groups, that provide me with a safe place to share… they are my closest confidants, always there to pick me up when I’m feeling down, help me honour her and her memory every day.”

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Michelle Cullen lost her son to stillbirth on August 6, 2013 and says stillbirths are far too common in Australia.

“With the advancements in medical technology, we should be at the forefront of research,” she says. “I hope that the campaign takes off, breaks the silence and inspires even more awareness about stillbirth.”

Last month a Florida couple decided to share their story and photographs of their stillborn baby on social media as a reminder for other mothers to be grateful for their healthy children.

The Stillbirth Foundation Australia is the only charity in Australia solely dedicated to researching the causes of stillbirth and hopes to remove the taboo that surrounds the issue.

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