Congressional Legislation Provides Bereavement Leave after Reproductive Loss
SAN DIEGO – The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care, the global leader in reproductive grief care, research and education, today announced its support for new legislation, “Support Through Loss Act” that was introduced by Senator Duckworth (IL) and Congresswoman Pressley (MA-07).
The two legislators introduced this bill in October in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
REPRODUCTIVE LOSS AND PREGNANCY LOSS IS NOT RARE
- 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage
- Busy hospital Emergency Departments report an average of 5 pregnancy losses each day
- 2.4 million fetal and neonatal deaths occur in the perinatal period in the U.S. – 4 times more than the annual number of deaths from cancer!
- These numbers don’t include infertility, which carries its own repeated, emotional pain.
“Everyone knows someone that’s been touched by reproductive loss,” said Michaelene Fredenburg, President and CEO of the Institute. “Millions are impacted every year. It is unreasonable to expect someone to immediately return to work, with no time to process the physical and emotional impact of their loss.”
GRIEF AFTER REPRODUCTIVE LOSS IS NOT EASIER
Our culture downplays and marginalizes grief after reproductive loss, leaving those impacted feeling isolated, silenced and alone.
“People understand the horrific pain of losing a child,” said Fredenburg, “They often mistakenly believe that reproductive loss is easier.”
Studies show that grief after reproductive loss can last years – even decades. In fact, grief after perinatal loss had triple the bereavement trajectory of other types of losses, perhaps due to the lack of rituals and social customs for grieving.
HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESS LEADERS
The good news is that it’s easy to include reproductive loss within your current bereavement leave policy. It is also an emerging trend that can help improve employee benefit satisfaction, as well as being the right thing to do.
The Institute provides language and guidance to human resources professionals and business leaders who want to incorporate reproductive loss into their bereavement policies.
“There is bereavement after reproductive loss, just like any other loss,” added Fredenburg. “Also, some reproductive losses take days to physically process. Employees shouldn’t have to work in the midst of one.”
After reproductive loss, parents’ biggest fear is that their children will be forgotten.
The “Forget Me Not” flower is the symbol of reproductive loss. It honors those impacted, raises awareness and gives those grieving a way to tell their story and process their loss.
“The ‘Forget Me Not’ flower assures those impacted that we are remembering them, and remembering their children with them,” explained Fredenburg. “We encourage everyone to wear a ‘Forget Me Not’ flower, especially in October during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.”
The Institute offers its award-winning “Forget Me Not” Signature Collection of memorial and remembrance items, including jewelry, like pins and bracelets, along with sympathy cards, at its online shop. “Forget Me Not” pins are available as traditional pins or magnetic pins that can be placed on clothes, purses, and, for medical professionals, on ID badges or lab coats. All proceeds support those impacted by reproductive loss.
Join us in honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month! Follow #ForgetMeNot on social media for updates throughout October.
Are you, or do you know, someone impacted by reproductive loss? Not sure what to say or do? Institute’s Helpful Toolkits are free resources for anyone who needs help, hope and healing after reproductive loss, especially for:
- Women who have experienced reproductive loss
- Men who have experienced reproductive loss
- Loved ones who want to help
- Healthcare professionals
“TOP 10 TERRIBLE” AND TOP 10 TERRIFIC” THINGS TO SAY AND DO
Loved ones often don’t know what to say after reproductive loss, so they say nothing at all. This only adds to parents’ fears that their children will be forgotten.
Worried about what to say and do? Or what NOT to say or do? Our popular “Top 10” lists, inside our Helpful Toolkits for Loved Ones, can help!
- Top 10 Terrible Things That Caring People Say After Reproductive Loss
- Top 10 Terrific Things to Say and Do After Reproductive Loss
“Our Helpful Toolkits, Top 10 Lists and ‘Forget Me Not’ Signature Collection are all wonderful ways to learn, show support and symbolize your care and concern for those impacted by reproductive loss,” said Fredenburg. “And October, during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, is the perfect time to do this.”
We bring to light the widespread need for help that is faced by the millions impacted by miscarriage and other reproductive losses. We change the way that people think and talk about reproductive loss, and create traditions that focus on healing, remembrance and hope. We offer a safe place, for those impacted, to receive the support that they need in kindness and without judgement.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF REPRODUCTIVE GRIEF CARE
The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is the global authority on reproductive grief care. It offers education, research, expertise and support after reproductive loss without religious or political affiliation. Its goal is to accelerate the widespread adoption of a reproductive grief standard of care, bringing comfort and hope to millions who often grieve alone and in silence for years or decades.
The Institute’s online courses are accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #17434. It is also approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. We maintain responsibility for our program and its content. The Institute also certifies healthcare professionals and others in reproductive grief care.
The Institute offers books, memorial items, and other healing resources directly to those affected, including the “Forget Me Not Signature Collection” of sympathy cards, jewelry and comfort boxes. The national campaign, promoting the “Forget Me Not” flower as a symbol of reproductive loss remembrance, won the grand prize of “Nonprofit Communications Campaign of the Year” by Public Relations Daily in 2022. All Institute proceeds from sales of “Forget Me Not” items go directly to helping those impacted. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information, see the Institute’s introductory video and visit ReproductiveGrief.org.