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Remembering infants focus of ceremony

ASHLAND, Ky. — An observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will take place Saturday in Central Park in Ashland.

The service will last from 5 to 7 p.m. and is a part of Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

First attendees will release balloons for their lost infants. A speaker will deliver an address followed by a candlelight ceremony. After that the babies’ names will be read,

The main purpose of Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month is to acknowledge infants lost in pregnancy or early life. Observers hope to dispel the taboo placed on the subject.

“Society has told us a baby doesn’t have life outside the womb,” Cathie Whitt, a labor and delivery nurse from King’s Daughters Medical Center, said. “Whether it be stillborn, miscarriage, SIDS… it doesn’t matter. The loss is still important.

“Mothers used to be discouraged from seeing stillborn babies. Recognizing these children helps in the grief process. If you pretend it didn’t happen you can’t move on.”

Whitt likened the loss to any other death one may experience in life.

“You don’t ignore the death if it’s a 5-year-old or a parent,” she said.

Whitt also leads a support group for parents who have lost infants in early pregnancy and early life. The group meets the second Thursday of every month in KDMC Health Education Center.

Whitt credits the fellowship in helping parents heal.

“It’s the camaraderie,” she said. “Parents realize they don’t have to walk this alone. One in four pregnancies result in losses so it’s likely some are suffering in silence.”