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Nurture Foundation Marks Baby Loss Awareness Day

13 October 2006

Media Release

Nurture Foundation Marks Baby Loss Awareness Day
“A little life, not a little loss”

Sunday October 15 is Baby Loss Awareness Day – an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the grief of parents who have lost a child either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

The Nurture Foundation for Reproductive Research is marking the day with a call for more investment into research to help solve the mysteries of miscarriage, stillbirth and the loss of babies shortly after birth.

The Nurture Foundation has been formed by a group of leading New Zealand doctors, researchers and supporters frustrated by the lack of public funding for reproductive research. Spokesperson Professor Cindy Farquhar says research into the causes of baby loss both during pregnancy and immediately after birth struggles to attract government funding.

Professor Farquhar says, “I’m convinced part of the problem is the very private nature of these events. Couples go through an intense grief process which is often misunderstood and there is a tendency to underestimate the sustained emotional impact baby loss has. Its a little life that’s lost, but the loss is by no means little.”

“As a group of doctors and researchers we are keen to use our research skills to help learn more about the causes of baby loss in all its forms so that we might ultimately prevent some parents having to experience this grief. However, we can’t do it without financial support and we are now actively seeking support from the corporate and business community to help.”

“If we were able to secure more funding for this area, our research wish-list would include further investigating the role of blood thinning agents such as aspirin in preventing miscarriage, studies into implantation and early pregnancy growth, understanding the role of supportive care in early pregnancy and a follow-up studies on the children of mothers who had recurrent miscarriage.

Professor Farquhar says baby loss is surprisingly common. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. There are around 400 stillbirths in New Zealand each year and about 200 neonatal deaths (within the first 28 days of life). This is an issue that touches the hearts of many New Zealanders of reproductive age.


Editors’ Note: A candle ceremony is being held at the Auckland City Hospital Chapel at 4.30pm on Sunday 15 October to mark Baby Loss Awareness Day.

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