The neonatal mortality forms part of infant mortality, and most of the causes of death in this stage are of perinatal. Among the main reasons, according to the latest vital statistics available to the Ministry of Health of the Nationare the Congenital malformationschromosomal abnormalities and deformities, certain conditions originating in the perinatal periodmaternal illness, complications during pregnancy, or external causes such as traffic accidents, trauma, physical aggression against the mother and suicide, to name a few.
To make it clear, it is established that the perinatal period starts at the week 22 of gestation (when the fetal weight is normally 500 grams) and ends when they are completed seven days after birth.
In Argentina, 4,449 fetal deaths occur per yearalthough the health portfolio document to which he had access Infobae it does not clarify how many of the 4,505 infant deaths occur in the first week of life.
According to UNICEF, Every 16 seconds there is a fetal death in the world. This means that close to two million babies are stillborn every year. In addition to the devastating loss of life, the psychological consequences for families, women and societies are serious and long-lasting, the agency warns.
Hence the need that from the movement Remembering Our Babies (Remembering our babies) saw in driving a International Day of Mourning for Gestational, Perinatal and Neonatal Deathwhich is celebrated today.
The date was created to toast support for, education, and awareness to those experiencing or who may know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or loss of a baby. “Too many families mourn in silence, sometimes they never come to terms with their loss,” they say from the movement.
When a baby dies in the womb, it is said that the pregnancy “stopped”, “it came off”, “there is no heartbeat”. As if it were difficult to name death at this stage of life, as if one could not talk about that. Or it would not be right to express that pain.
“There is more perinatal death than is known and which is talked about, but socially it seems uncomfortable to make it visible and name it”. With such a call to put pain into words, the Psychology graduate Maria Agustina Capurro (MN 69748) began to explain to Infobae that “the denial of the existence of these deaths prevents women from talking about it and transmitting their experience to others”.
Robyn Bear, founder of Remembering Our Babies in 2003, who imagined the October 15th, as a day in which all bereaved parents could come together and be surrounded by the love and support of their friends and family, “a day in which the community could better understand their pain and learn how to reach those who suffer” . “This would be a day to reflect on loss and embrace love. While the lives of those babies have been brief, they were also very significant, he reflected on the date. However, there was not a moment to talk about them. Our society seemed to forget or maybe it just didn’t know how to get there.”
For Capurro, “today is a day of awareness to give birth to the death of these babies, to name it, since it is one of the most invisible duels.”
Unicef He assures that “in some cultures, mothers are considered guilty of fetal deaths. This can lead to social disrepute or generate individual feelings of guilt or shame, which prevents mothers from openly expressing their pain for the loss.
“The inability to mourn publicly can make it seem like stillbirths never happened. This type of taboos, stigmas and misconceptions often silence families or have repercussions on the recognition and mourning of stillbirths, thus contributing to their invisibility”, they highlight.
Asked why it is important to make it visible, and what happens if these deaths do not hurt “well”, Capurro analyzed: “It is not named because of the taboo. The unnamed of this period. No one expects death during the perinatal periodwhich is precisely a moment absolutely linked to the vital”.
For the psychologist with a perinatal and reproductive orientation, “this general message that is sometimes transmitted from the medical field but also from the popular, of waiting the first three months before sharing the news of a pregnancy accounts for this.”
“The highest percentage of gestational interruptions occur at that time but also then you live with a lot of loneliness – Capurro pointed out -. It is made invisible that this pregnancy was a family/couple or life project. The gestation of a child begins before the pregnancy itself, when the desire is there”.
According to Unicef, “women and partners of women who suffer fetal death have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms that can last for a long time, even after other pregnancies and after giving birth to a healthy child. ”.
That is why “give way to pain, being able to verbalize it, make room for it in the story, the family history, ritualize the departure, assign a name and that chosen name be the one by which the baby who had a rapid transit through the life of this family is called, will allow the elaboration that is always unique and non-linear but that requires anchors and accompanying support”.