FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Valerie R. Meek, email@example.com
Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) celebrates first anniversary with new services for moms and health care professionals.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – June 15, 2015 – Over the past year, Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) has grown from an online magazine to the leading resource for both the mom pregnant after pregnancy/neonatal/child loss, as well as the professionals who treat her. PALS’ all-volunteer staff is partnering with fiscal sponsor Star Legacy Foundation to seek funds to provide expanded services, including training programs for mentors and healthcare professionals.
In 2012 Lindsey M. Henke, PALS’ founder, gave birth to her first child, Nora, who was born still after an uneventful pregnancy. As Lindsey navigated grief while considering another pregnancy, she found very few resources for the woman who was pregnant after a loss.
Henke explains, “As a mom pregnant again after a loss, I didn’t feel completely comfortable in the bereaved world, discussing new life when others had just experienced death. But I also didn’t feel completely comfortable in the mainstream pregnancy community. Once my little girl arrived safe and sound on March 27, 2014, I had time to nestle in with her and focus on starting an online magazine and peer-to-peer support services specifically for the mom pregnant after loss. I wanted to provide her with the place I could not find when I was going through my own subsequent pregnancy.”
In the United States alone, one out of every four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and one out of every 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. These numbers do not include infant death from preterm labor, diagnosis of life-limiting conditions, or SIDS. Research shows that a subsequent pregnancy is common for these women (about 50-80%) within the first year following a loss.
Henke describes their mission, “To provide peer to peer support services and professional resources for the mom who is pregnant again after loss, supporting her in choosing hope over fear while also nurturing her grief. We want her to know she is a courageous mama no matter what her birth outcome, stage of pregnancy after loss, or way of birthing. We are here to support her on her journey when no one else is.”
PALS community member Celina Sisk describes why this work is vital, “PALS has served to validate my concerns and feelings during my pregnancy. I’m so glad to have this page as a resource on those rough days when anxiety creeps up. You are all so courageous! Don’t ever stop this form of perinatal support, it is so needed!”
Serving over 6,000 women through their Facebook page, about 3,000 through their seven online support groups, and just under 400,000 website (www.pregnancyafterlosssupport.com) page views in the first year alone, PALS has grown in reach.
PALS’ first anniversary will serve as both a celebration and a kick-off of fundraising and expanded services. To celebrate, community-favorite companies, including Arms Reach, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Boppy, Britax, Laurelbox, and more have donated thousands of dollars worth of products for giveaway. Social Media Coordinator, Anne Mathay, says, “The response from the sponsors of our giveaways has been tremendous. It validates the work we are doing to raise awareness and provide support. When large companies are so willing to provide support to our community, it reinforces the importance of our work.”
Henke’s team has also planned an online blessingway (a virtual ceremony to celebrate the pregnant mom, with attendees sharing affirmations, wishes, and experiences) and a day to celebrate Fathers. All events are scheduled for the week of June 15-21, 2015. Valerie Meek, PALS’ Magazine Submissions & Web Coordinator, says, “We’re energized by the celebration, and I can’t wait to use that energy to focus on our future at PALS. It’s an exciting time to be involved in making an impact on women experiencing pregnancy after loss.”
Pregnancy After Loss Support provides an online magazine with articles directed towards both the mom pregnant after loss and the professionals who treat her. Services are offered online, giving them an international audience. To learn more, visit www.pregnancyafterlosssupport.com.