Senate debates

Monday, 18 October 2021


International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

1:40 pm

Photo of Perin DaveyPerin Davey (NSW, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I join Senator Keneally and others today in recognising last Friday's infant loss awareness day. As we've heard today, in Australia the number of families who suffer stillbirth, miscarriage or loss of an infant's life within the first month is significant. I'm very proud that our government, on the back of the select committee's work earlier, has extended the Red Nose Hospital to Home program to provide intensive support to these grieving families, because the grief is unique. I know these experiences are very hard to talk about. I know the awkward silence from people who don't know how to respond. I know the feelings of awkwardness that extend into the family members, with mothers, fathers and siblings who also don't know how to respond. To those who've been through it: we all have unique experiences, we all grieve differently, and that's okay. We all have different reactions and different ways of dealing with it. I want you to know it's okay if you want to grieve in silence. It's okay if you want to keep this experience personal. I also want you to know that it's okay to grieve publicly. If you want to talk about it, if you want to share your pain, if you want acknowledgement of the life just lost, that's okay too and should be welcomed. We must all as a society recognise that grief is a personal experience, particularly with such an early loss in your lives. So please know—to those families who have been through this—that how you deal with your loss is up to you and it's okay, but you are not alone.