Comfort Boxes for Families Experiencing the Loss of Pregnancy or Infant
The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre is a registered charity based in Calgary, Alberta, serving the loss community province wide. Our mission is to support and connect individuals of all identities, backgrounds or circumstances, who have experienced the trauma around miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal loss, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or infertility.
We acknowledge that the journey through loss towards healing is as complex as it is individual. As such, we offer many no-cost pathways to healing including a help line, peer support, mental health sessions, and somatic therapies.
Pregnancy and infant loss has a substantial impact on a family’s mental health. Our programming supports people at all stages of loss (initial grief, trying to conceive, pregnant again, and parenting post loss) addressing the lifelong impacts. When families are grieving the death of their child and have limited access to financial assistance they are left with restricted financial resources to obtain items that are imperative to the grief journey.
We are seeking funding to create comfort boxes filled that newly bereaved families can receive at no cost. The boxes will be filled with items from local Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and owned small businesses.
Who Will it Benefit?
Each year, one in four pregnancies in the Calgary Zone will experience a pregnancy loss or infant loss. There are approximately 200 stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and approximately 4,000 miscarriages, in the Calgary Zone annually.
The mental health impacts of pregnancy and infant loss are profound. Researchers have found that 29% of birthing people who experienced a pregnancy loss, had PTSD symptoms one month after that loss. Additionally, 24% of these individuals had anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression one month after pregnancy loss.
The mental health impacts of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death last longer than society believes. The study also found the individuals who had PTSD, depression, or anxiety after pregnancy loss said their symptoms continued for long periods of time.
The above statistics demonstrate not only the number of losses experienced annually, but also the long term impacts that pregnancy and infant loss has. The “Journey through Grief” comfort boxes would benefit bereaved families who have experienced pregnancy loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, chemical pregnancy, blighted ovum), and infant loss (stillbirth and neonatal loss).
The comfort boxes are committed to diversity. Each box will include items created by Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ owned businesses. Having items from diversified members is vital to amplifying businesses owned by marginalized community members.
The Comfort Boxes will benefit all people (such as the birthing person, partners, grandparents and siblings) who have been impacted by loss as they provide comfort to each person impacted by the loss.