Friday, May 21, 2010

Stillbirth Awareness.

Sarah and I tend to keep our feelings about the loss of our daughter Abigail close to our hearts. We are also not extremely vocal about the lack of attention stillbirth gets in this country. As we approach Abigail’s original due date however, feelings and opinions bubble uncontrollably inside of me. Some of the the questions which could remain unanswered include: Why did Abbey have to die? How? What if? Will the black hole in my heart ever be filled?

Stillbirth, and education on the prevention of stillbirth, is not talked about. PERIOD. For that reason, my heart does warm a little and my soul brightens just a bit when I read about action being taken toward preventing stillbirth. The article below, which was forwared to us by an organization called Firstcandle, provides some hope that the subject of stillbirth will someday get the attention it needs.

May 13, 2010

State Rep. Kevin Green announced that his legislation to help expectant mothers become better educated about the dangers of stillbirth and about how they may prevent it has passed a key House panel on its way to becoming state law. The Michigan House Health Policy Committee approved legislation requiring doctors to distribute information to their pregnant patients about the risk of stillbirth. The legislation's sponsor, state Rep. Kevin Green, has personal experience with the issue after losing his daughter Skylar Anne to stillbirth in 2007.

"Stillbirth is an equal opportunity destroyer," Green, R-Wyoming, told the House Health Policy Committee during emotional testimony Wednesday. "Getting this information to expectant mothers early on in their pregnancy could help them prevent stillbirth. Counting kicks is such a simple thing to do that could save your child's life."

The cause of Skylar's death is still unknown, as is the same for nearly half of stillbirth cases each year. Despite the relatively high incidence of stillbirths in the U.S. (nearly one in 100), there is little research into the causes of this heartbreaking loss of pregnancy.

House Bill 6091 would amend the Public Health Code to require a health care professional to inform a woman during her pregnancy of the potential risk of stillbirth and the importance of monitoring a child's movements in the last trimester.

"It allows women to have ownership in their own healthcare by being informed about this potential risk," Green said.

"We lost a big part of our future when Skylar passed away," Green said. "By passing this legislation, we acknowledge parents who have lost a child due to stillbirth and hope to find ways of preventing this from happening to other families in the future."

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