Since 2019 Bothwell Regional Health Center’s Women’s Health and Newborn Care staff has organized a local event to mark National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

This year’s event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, outside on the southeast side of Bothwell Education Center at 600 E. 14th Street. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Alicia Staus, a Registered Nurse in Women’s Health and Newborn Care and co-chair of the Pregnancy and Infant Loss committee knows personally the heartache and pain this loss can cause affected families.

“My second son, Myles, died at five months of age, six years ago this September,” said Staus. “Myles died from positional asphyxia during naptime while with a caregiver when a blanket had fallen into his crib. The grief I have felt from losing a child, as well as working at the hospital where I gave birth to him and where I had to say goodbye, has always been a struggle. I only hope my strength and courage can reach other mothers and families experiencing similar loss."

Pregnancy loss includes miscarriage and stillbirth, along with sudden infant death syndrome. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that about 1 in 100 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and each year more than 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.

This year’s event will include remarks from Certified Nurse Midwife Tracey Arwood with Bothwell OB/GYN Associates, and the lilac tree planted at the first event in 2019 will be lit. A Wave of Light ceremony will happen at 7 pm where attendees may light candles in honor and remembrance of their loss. Refreshments will be available.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss committee creates baskets and distributes informational packets for mothers and families who experience loss while in the hospital. In the future, Staus said the committee hopes to start a fundraiser that can assist grieving families of infant loss with the burden of funeral costs.

“Just getting out into the community and being vulnerable reminds people they are not alone and creates awareness the community needs,” she said. “I don’t think there is a single person who hasn’t been affected by this personally or who doesn’t know someone who has experienced this type of loss. Currently, there is not an infant or child loss support group in Sedalia, and I hope our committee can fix that.”

The event is funded by the Bothwell Foundation. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the Education Center.

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