In this featured blog post, we are thrilled to share the second of PLICA Ambassador's Brandi Lytle's series exploring the significance and meaning behind the Awareness Ribbons for the Childless Community. Founder of the Not So Mommy... blog and creator of the Childless Not By Choice Awareness Ribbon, Brandi shares her reflections on the Awareness Ribbons and the PLICA emblem in recognition of the Awareness Month of October.
Awareness Ribbons for the Childless Community
Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Written By: Brandi Lytle, of Not So Mommy...
In the first post of this series, I explained that I love awareness ribbons because I love meaningful symbols. I stated…
“Not only does such a simple thing—a colored ribbon—hold deep meaning, but that meaning is unique depending on the perspective of the individual. For example, the significance of the ribbon is different for the one who battles personally versus the one sitting beside giving support. It is different for the one who overcame versus the one struggling through. But no matter the perspective, the ribbon unites a diverse group of people who want to show support, to educate and advocate about important issues.” -Brandi Lytle
You can read the full introduction post by clicking here:
My love of awareness ribbons is one reason I adore the PLICA emblem. It incorporates three awareness ribbons--Pregnancy & Infant Loss, Infertility, and Childless Not By Choice. Because October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I decided to explore that ribbon in this post.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
PLICA’s Vision Statement expresses, “We recognise the very unique kind of loss experienced by those who have lost a baby or who are involuntarily childless.” Now, I feel I must ensure that you realize, I have not personally experienced the trauma of miscarriage, as I was never able to conceive. As a PLICA Ambassador and advocate for the infertility & childless not by choice communities, however, I am passionate about providing support for, and education about, this unique type of grief.
Because one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage or infant loss. Let me say that again. Twenty-five percent (25%) of pregnancies end in loss. And yet, miscarriage is still a taboo subject. The stigma needs to change.
One way to advocate for this change is by displaying (and/or wearing) the light pink and blue Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Ribbon. In my humble opinion, October is an ideal time to display the ribbon for a couple of reasons. One, as I said before, October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Two, because October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the pink ribbon is very well known, people are more cognizant of awareness ribbons in October. Because of this, people are more likely to notice the pink & blue ribbon. And when they notice, we have the opportunity to raise awareness about Pregnancy & Infant Loss.
Now, let me be clear… I am not suggesting that anyone who has suffered miscarriage and/or infant loss feel obligated to share details of their story with strangers. It is a very personal decision to be vulnerable and vocalize your grief. We can raise awareness without revealing personal trauma, however.
When others ask about the pink & blue ribbon, we can…
- Inform that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and/or infant loss
- Explain that recurrent miscarriage is a symptom of infertility
- Educate that miscarriage is one reason some are childless not by choice
- Allow the person to share their story (if they feel comfortable) and offer love, support, and encouragement
- Tell them about loss resources and support, such as PLICA
Yes, a simple colored ribbon has the potential to start the conversation—to start the education and the advocacy. A simple pink & blue ribbon has the potential to unite us in our grief and in our healing…
The next post in the "Awareness Ribbons for the Childless Community" Series will be published December 2020.
Brandi Lytle, founder & owner of Not So Mommy... and creator of the olive green Childless Not By Choice Awareness Ribbon, is a wife, dog mom, aunt, host mom, infertile woman living an imperfectly perfect life in South Carolina, USA with her husband, Dane, and fur baby, Maddie. She is redefining what momhood means to her and strives to focus on the bright sides of being childless. Her hope is to inspire others to accept, embrace, redefine—discovering a Plan B that brings them joy!
Coming up in mid October:
Find out more about Brandi and her Not So Mommy... blog by clicking: