Improved mental health support services for mothers and families needed

May 05, 2016 at 11:17 am

PCs introduce the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Act

HALIFAX, NS – Raylene McPherson’s whole world was turned upside down after the loss of her unborn son and she doesn’t want families to suffer in silence anymore.

Today, Progressive Conservative MLA Tim Houston, introduced the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Act in the Legislature.

“Every day, a family in Nova Scotia experiences the pain of losing a child as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss,” says Houston. “Many families struggle with the grief because pregnancy loss remains a topic that many do not want to talk about.”

MLA Tim Houston

The bill requires the Minister of Health and Wellness to analyze the programs available to women and families who experience the loss of a pregnancy or infant. It also requires the minister to develop a plan to provide services to women and families that experience the loss of a pregnancy or infant in regions where no services or insufficient services are available.

The Bill proclaims October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Raylene MacPherson and Brian Garby’s lives were changed forever on March 29, 2015. Fourteen weeks into their first pregnancy, the new parents got the dreaded news from the doctor that their baby wasn’t going to make it.

MacPherson says pregnancy and Infant loss is something that everyone knows is a possibility, but you never think it could possibly happen to you. Until it does.

“So many women began sharing their stories with me after hearing of our loss,” says MacPherson. “I couldn’t help but think how sad it was that so many women, whom I’ve always felt so close to, had gone through something so tragic, but never spoke of it.”

MacPherson wants to see that each region provide and encourage support groups for families like hers.
“Whether they be peer led or professionally led, something so simple could make such a difference for a family,” says MacPherson. “The loss may be changed from unexplainable agony, to an understood, but constant ache.”

A similar bill to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Act was passed unanimously in Ontario last fall. The PCs are calling on the McNeil government to support this worthy cause and pass this bill through the legislature.

May 5 marks the International Day of the Midwife.