Media and Perinatal Loss
Click here to see media coverage of the topic of Perinatal Death:
Today I saw a news reporter and camera man in the lobby of our hospital. I don’t know exactly why they were here but there have been interesting local events, so I could guess. I am certain, however that they were NOT here to do a story on the incidence of Perinatal Death in our country.
I have a passion for caring for “my ladies” and that passionate side of my personality made me want to run up to them and say “Do you have any idea how many babies die in the US/world every year? When is someone going to tell this story?”
(I also have a practical side that knows if I did such a thing I would be fired and the PR dept would make a dart board with my picture on it. I don’t want to behave like a luntic, so I wont be accosting any camera-toting visitors anytime soon. )
I hope my point is well understood though. In most advanced cultures, problems are discussed in the openness of the virtual town square which for years has been television. The fact that you are reading this blog shows there is evolution underway, but I still think that average people believe that if infant death were common, you would certainly see it on TV. Important and compelling things are on TV, so if it isn’t on TV it must not exist.
The rubber meets the road when I enter the room of a woman in the late stages of pregnancy who is early in labor after learning that her baby has died. She (I argue) is subjected to an increased degree of pain because nothing in our culture prepared her for the fact that this was a possibility.
Perhaps worse than no coverage though would be bad coverage. Imagine if someone did a show about it and tried to assign blame as to why it happens. We really don’t need that. If anyone is ever going to do this topic justice, it will have to be brave enough to be honest about the unknowns and ambiguities in this area of loss.
I have emailed media outlets and show hosts and as you can see the crickets are chirping. We get it, talking about infant death doesn’t make money. We do need to keep pushing…SOMEDAY this will come out of the dark corners …I just hope it is done with truth and integrity.
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