Families will gather online this year to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on Oct. 15.
Cradle Cincinnati, Queens Village and The Alana Marie Project are co-hosting a remembrance event with a few families that will be streamed on Facebook and Instagram. This is the first time the groups are participating, saying the idea came from women within their groups dealing with loss.
"They were kind of feeling as though the community had moved on, a lot of their families had moved on, but they were still really experiencing this loss and wanting to have an opportunity to commemorate the loss of their baby," says Josselyn Okorodudu, community engagement strategist for Cradle Cincinnati.
"It's not a pain that goes away, it's a pain that they are carrying with them daily. To be experiencing carrying this and not having people thinking about it, is something that can be painful, so on Infant Loss Remembrance Day, they wanted to have an opportunity where they are experiencing this grief with their families and with their community."
The event will include music, and two women will discuss their losses and what they hope the event will provide for moms and families. It will conclude with a candle lighting and ribbon ceremony. Local families could request a remembrance kit with a candle and special ribbon for use while participating virtually.
The event is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
President Ronald Reagan in 1988 declared October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Eventually, Oct. 15 was set as the day to honor all babies gone too soon.
Cradle Cincinnati in July reported that while the number of babies in Hamilton County dying before their first birthdays remained relatively the same in 2019 compared to data from the previous five years, 14 fewer Black infants died, representing a 24% decrease.
Two years ago, Cradle Cincinnati and its partners began focusing strategically on the African American community to reduce racial disparities in women's and infant health. In 2019, the organizations announced strategies "to focus squarely and unapologetically on Black women."