Babies who were stillborn or died in early infancy will be commemorated in Australia, as part of a touching act of remembrance around the world.
The annual Wave of Light ceremony takes place on Monday October 15 to mark International Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Day. At 7pm local time, parents, families and supporters will lighting candles in tribute to much-loved and much-missed babies.
Whether you are grieving the loss of your own child or supporting a family you know, you’re invited to take part in the international wave of light. Around the world, people will be lighting candles or battery-operated tealights are asked to keep them illuminated for an hour, in memory.
The ceremony marks International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which is being marked by many support groups, hospitals and charities with special events for families.
In Australia, an estimated one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, while around 3,000 babies are either stillborn or die in the first 28 days after birth.
“There are so many Australian families that are affected by the death of a baby. International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day gives them an ‘official’ opportunity to acknowledge their precious babies,” said Lyndy Bowden, chair of non-profit stillbirth and neonatal death support organisation Sands.
“It is also a chance to raise awareness of the emotional impact of pregnancy and infant loss.”
The charity is also inviting families and supporters to join its Walk to Remember in various locations on Sunday 14.
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is officially recognised as a calendar event in Tasmania, Western Australia and New South Wales.
In August, the Liberal Nationals called for Victoria to follow suit and recognise October 15 as International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on the state’s official calendar.
Those who light a candle in remembrance of a baby on October 15 are invited to take a photo and share it on social media, with the hashtags #BLAW2018 and #babylossawareness.