What’s a Miscarriage Awareness Ribbon?

Updated

It’s not often discussed openly, but miscarriage is something that affects people more often than many realize. Chances are, miscarriage has affected you or someone you know and love. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Although it’s not possible to get an exact number, around twenty-six percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage before twenty weeks gestation. Oftentimes they occur before someone even realizes that they’re pregnant. 

With such a high prevalence of miscarriage, why are so many getting left in the dust when it comes to recognizing and discussing this incredibly important part of being human?

Miscarriage awareness ribbons are pink and blue ribbons often worn during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which falls in October. 

What Does a Miscarriage Awareness Ribbon Symbolize?

On October 15th, 1988, then-President Ronald Reagan declared October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 

In his speech, President Reagan described the importance of this month: “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

People wear ribbons to show support for all sorts of causes, like cancer awareness, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and much more. 

Wearing these special ribbons during October helps to break the silence around pregnancy and infant loss so that people feel less alone, and we can start a conversation around a part of life that is so often swept under the rug.

Miscarriage awareness ribbons are a way of spreading awareness of and showing solidarity with people who have been impacted by pregnancy loss. 

It’s not just miscarriage, these ribbons also promote awareness of stillbirth, neonatal death, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) 

How Can Miscarriage Awareness Ribbons Help?

When someone is coping with a miscarriage, one of the things most commonly experienced is a feeling of loneliness and isolation. Having dedicated months and days to commemorate these experiences helps people feel less alone, and use awareness to help support others.

These ribbons not only support the parents who have experienced pregnancy loss, but they honor the lives that were cut short. They help to keep alive the memories that many parents feel like they have no one to share with. 

Besides honoring and showing support, miscarriage awareness ribbons also shine a light on a crucial part of the picture: research. Pregnancy loss is typically unexpected, and not necessarily preventable. Still, the more research and understanding people and medical providers have around it, the better they will be able to navigate it, and possibly prevent it.

Research isn’t just about prevention, as that’s not possible in many cases. It also looks at the long-term effects of pregnancy loss on the parents that are affected by it. 

These long term effects can include:

While many cases of pregnancy loss might not be preventable, the long-term effects it has on families can be mitigated through proper research and understanding. Healing starts with support. 

You understand the importance of these ribbons, but what do they look like?

What Color Is a Miscarriage Awareness Ribbon?

The miscarriage and pregnancy loss awareness ribbon is a combination of light blue and pink.

Traditionally, light blue and pink represent the baby boys and girls lost with the typical baby colors. However, it’s important to point out that more people are choosing to defy gender norms including colors. Still, these colors represent the importance of awareness around pregnancy and infant loss.

There are many different designs when it comes to making these ribbons. They’re usually made with one side of the ribbon being a light pink, and the other a light blue. 

Sometimes they appear like they’re folded over in a way where on the top you can see one color, and on the bottom, you can see the other. Other times there’s just a neat split at the top of the ribbon where the color changes. 

It depends on the kind of material used and the preferences of the person making and wearing the ribbon. Some artists may put little wings, one of each color, on each side of the ribbon, little birds that are flying away from it, or flowers laid over the design. There are even ribbons out there where one part of it beautifully transforms into a feather. 

Birds, feathers, and flowers are all common symbols around grief and loss, especially for pregnancy loss.

What Can You Do With a Miscarriage Awareness Ribbon?

You understand the importance of miscarriage awareness ribbons, but now you may be wondering what to do with them. 

The cool thing about a symbol like a ribbon is that it’s so versatile. It can be worn on clothes, cars, cards, household items, and even on your skin!

Here are some ways you can utilize the pink and blue ribbon symbol:

Comfort a loved one

Passing around miscarriage awareness ribbons can be a heartfelt way to comfort someone who had a miscarriage, whether it was recent or years ago.

On a tattoo

Tattoos are a way of permanently commemorating experiences, including lost loved ones. Some people may choose to get a tattoo of the ribbon with important dates, or the name of their lost baby.

Put it on your car

Bumper stickers say it loud and proud. Anytime someone drives by your miscarriage awareness bumper sticker and recognizes it, they will feel the support and community around pregnancy loss.

Wear It

There are so many ways to wear a miscarriage awareness ribbon, outside of getting a tattoo.

You can get it on a T-shirt, face mask, a patch to iron or sew on jackets or bags, jewelry like necklaces or bracelets, or a pin to put wherever you’d like. 

Household goods

Coffee mugs, planters, candles, keychains, even holiday ornaments can all be decorated with the miscarriage awareness ribbon.

You may even find decals or designs to put outside your house, especially during October.

Make an art project

This is an especially good option if there are kids involved in the grieving process. You can order stickers with the symbol, have the kids draw and make cards, and do other projects about the miscarriage awareness ribbon. Art can be especially healing for kids and adults.

Where Do You Typically See Miscarriage Awareness Ribbons?

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is starting to be recognized in more and more places around the world. 

As of now, it’s observed in the United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. 

If you’re wondering where to find miscarriage awareness ribbons, the internet has plenty of options.

Online marketplaces like Etsy and Red Bubble are full of options like the ones we talked about, and more. You can find other images and ideas on Pinterest. If you want miscarriage awareness ribbon merchandise that you haven’t been able to find, you can most likely easily customize what you’re looking for with a quick online search.

The more you spread awareness and wear these ribbons with pride, the more people you’ll start to see them on!

Spreading Awareness with Miscarriage Awareness Ribbons

Unfortunately, miscarriage is a part of life, and for many people, their fertility journey. That being said, the more people can show support for people who have experienced pregnancy loss, start conversations about it, and be honest about the reality of it, the less alone people will feel when they do go through it.

So whether it’s on your shirt, your car, or around your neck, wear that ribbon and acknowledge when others do the same. 

It’s not about the ribbon, it’s about what it stands for. By wearing and giving out these ribbons during October, you are helping spread awareness about pregnancy loss – one ribbon at a time.


Sources:
  1. Dugas, Carla, and Valori H Slane. “Miscarriage.” Stat Pearls Publishing, 29 January 2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  2. “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 31 January 2017, nichd.nih.gov.
  3. Farren, Jessica, and Maria Jalmbrant. “Post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.” BMJ Open. BMJ Journals. 2 November. bmjopen.bmj.com.
  4. Nynas Johnna, MD, andPuneet Narang, MD. “Depression and Anxiety Following Early Pregnancy Loss: Recommendations for Primary Care Providers.” The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. National Institutes of Health. 29 January 2015. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Icons sourced from FlatIcon.