The City of Boroondara will officially mark International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on Sunday, October 15 at a special event to raise awareness about stillbirth throughout the community.

Every day in Australia, six babies are stillborn, three babies die within the first 12 months of birth, and a miscarriage occurs every 3.5 minutes. Despite the prevalence of stillbirth, it’s a topic that is still rarely discussed, and often not well understood by the wider community.

Councillor Felicity Sinfield recognised the need to shed light on this important issue, so led the initiative for Council to officially recognise the day, in the hope it would make local families affected by stillbirth not feel so alone.

“For family and friends affected by stillbirth, it is a devastating time and unfortunately a real taboo still exists around talking about it, meaning many families are left suffering in silence,” she said.

“We want to change that. The City of Boroondara is pleased to play a part in bringing attention to International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and in turn, helping to raise awareness about the prevalence of stillbirth, and the emotional impact of pregnancy and infant loss.”

Local Boroondara resident and parent of a stillborn baby, Anne-Maree Polimeni, wants to share her personal story in the lead up to the day to better educate the public about the realities of stillbirth.

“On Friday 27th November 2015 I gave birth to our third baby, Rafael. I was 28 weeks pregnant and he had died. Like most people, the idea of giving birth to a stillborn baby was unfathomable,” said Ms Polimeni.

“There are no words or actions that will make a bereaved parent feel better, but family and friends must understand how important it is to walk alongside them at their most vulnerable time, so that they do not feel so alone.”

Mayor Cr. Phillip Healey encouraged Boroondara residents to light a candle at 7pm on October 15, and to keep it burning for one hour to officially mark the day.

“In Boroondara and throughout the world, a ‘Wave of Light’ will emerge, signifying our stance of solidarity with those affected by stillbirth,” he said.

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For more information email Anita Stocky, Senior Communications Business Partner. Phone: 9278 4446.