October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month with the inaugural Butterfly Run Victoria kicking off the month on October 1st with a 5 km and 3 km run/walk to raise awareness about these often-silent losses.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy loss, and that 1 in 6 will experience infertility. However, there continues to be a taboo surrounding these losses, leaving many individuals and families dealing with their grief in isolation. The Butterfly Run was founded by families who experienced miscarriage or infant death and wanted to bring awareness and support to those that may be grieving in the shadows and share the message, “you are not alone.”
For Samara Ferguson, previously a doula and now working at Station Street Midwives in Duncan, having a miscarriage or a baby born still is a silent grief. “I had an uneventful second pregnancy and was in labour for 12 hours when my son Wylder was born still in 2014. We were in complete shock. Once we left the hospital there was a void. There was no counselling or therapy or other families we could talk to, and you feel very alone as people often don’t know what to say or how to respond,” says Samara. “The Butterfly Run can help to bring this loss out of the shadows and into the open so that the grief families are suffering can be seen and heard.”
Olive Fertility Centre (olivefertility.com) is a proud sponsor of the Butterfly Run and will be running teams in Victoria and Vancouver. “Experiencing infertility, pregnancy loss or stillbirth is much more common than most people realize. In 2017 in B.C., there were 524 stillbirths alone, and about one out of six women who know they are pregnant miscarry,” says Dr James Graham, fertility specialist and clinical director of Olive Fertility Victoria. “Studies have shown that women going through infertility treatment and pregnancy loss experience trauma and distress that often does not end even when they have a successful pregnancy. We need to be providing more ongoing support for those who have suffered a loss, and for pregnancy after loss and beyond.”
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Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).
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