October 15th is world pregnancy and infant loss day. Still A Mum will be commemorating this day every year in Kenya starting this year. The goal is to create awareness on pregnancy and infant loss as well as give women who are affected a support forum. In partnership with Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), Still a Mum will be holding an event on Thursday 15th October to mark the event will be the at Nailab 4th Flr of Bishop Magua Building along Ngong road. The event shall start at 5pm.
Still A Mum is a campaign started by Kenyan Blogger Wanjiru Kihusa from a desire to celebrate women who have lost babies and affirm to them that they are still mothers despite their loss. In the African culture, a woman’s worth is usually attached to her ability to be a mother. This means that any woman who cannot get children for one reason or another is regarded as less of a woman. She is judged and often socially segregated. In some societies, women who are unable to bear children are considered bewitched. In some cases, in-laws ultimately look for a child-bearing woman as a replacement for their son.
10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. This means that best case scenario, 1 in every 10 women will have a miscarriage or worst case scenario 1 in every 4 women will get a miscarriage. It is estimated that in Africa, a staggering 4.2 million miscarriages are reported every year. Studies also show that 1 in 100 women will experience recurrent miscarriages (three or more successive miscarriages). In Kenya, there are no conclusive nationwide statistics and even those kept by hospitals do not include women who had a miscarriage at home.
Aim and objectives
The objectives of marking this day every year in Kenya are:
- To create awareness on miscarriages as well as infant loss –myths, causes, prevention and how society can offer support.
- To discuss adoption as a different way to motherhood – demystifying adoption and encouraging families to give abandoned kids a home.
- Provide a safe environment for families dealing with miscarriages and neonatal loss to grieve and find support
- Partner with brands and organizations that are passionate about motherhood and families.
- To have campaigns that cause behavior change in how people treat women without children
- Affect policy and law in Kenya – the Kenya Employment Act is not specific as to how long a break a woman who has lost a baby should have as maternity leave. The law does not also consider adoption hence a woman who adopts does not qualify for maternity leave. Same goes for fathers.
Some of the topics that will be discussed on 15 of October at the Nailab are:
- Loss and grief – when we lose someone we love
- Handling grief – stages of grief, things to do to deal with grief
- Support systems – how to help a friend who is grieving
- Miscarriages – what is a miscarriage, types of miscarriages, causes of miscarriages, thing you can do prevent/reduce chances of a miscarriage
- Role of nutrition in pregnancy
- How doctors should handle child loss – breaking news, counseling
- The adoption process in Kenya
- Myths surrounding adoption
- The role of an agency in the adoption process
- How companies can support women who have had a miscarriage
How you can help:
- Attend the Pregnancy and Infant loss day on October 15th
- Participate in the #StillAMum online discussions on 1st, 8th and 15th October at 2pm. We shall discuss issues related to miscarriages and adoption. Some of the topics are mentioned above.
- Sharing of ideas and thoughts
- Write about Still A Mum or any of the above mentioned issues on your blog. This way we will reach many readers challenging their perspective on these issues.