Purple butterflies are new stickers on cribs in the hospital nursery. If you have never seen one, it is because they are just now becoming a thing. They were created by Milli Smith who was an ordinary pregnant mother awaiting the birth of her twins, until she got the bad news. However, instead of dwelling on the bad, she found a way to cope with the purple butterfly.
Milli Smith and Lewis Cann were told that one of her twins would not live long. The unborn baby was diagnosed with anencephaly. This news was devastating because there is no cure for this. The brokenhearted mother had to continue her pregnancy knowing only one baby was healthy enough to survive. The joy of impending motherhood was smothered by grief.
Skye and Callie were born, but Skye only lived a mere three hours. They let both babies share a crib in the nursery for a brief time. These brief moments were precious for Milli and Lewis because they could see their girls together. The babies were tiny and precious.
Although they had one daughter left, they were still grieving. Another mother of twins was feeling a bit overwhelmed and mentioned that they were lucky that they didn’t have twins. Milli Smith knew that the other mother didn’t know of her loss, After she had been dismissed, she thought of a way to help other parents not experience such thoughtless words.
She created the purple butterfly logo to be displayed on the crib of a surviving sibling. The purple butterfly announces that the family is grieving the loss of another baby. The parents don’t have to share the news with strangers. The purple butterfly does it for them.
If you see a purple butterfly, wrap the family in love. The baby in the crib is a blessing, but the family is going through a tragedy. Milli found a way to cope with the loss of her baby by helping other families. The purple butterfly is forever linked with her missing daughter. It helps extend the legacy of the brief three hour life.
Butterfly stickers not only alert other parents and families in the hospital, it also alerts other medical professionals who may not be aware of the loss. The families don’t have to repeat the story of their tragedy over and over because the purple butterfly tells the story for them. Other parents who have experienced the tragedy wish that the purple butterfly had been posted for them. The stickers do make a difference.
With the proceeds from the purple butterfly stickers, they are fundraising for support groups for grieving families. The butterfly can’t replace a life, but the proceeds can help those left behind. Milli and Lewis faced one of the most devastating tragedies. They found a way to help others in similar situations.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is the fifteenth day of October each year. At 7 p.m. in every time zone, a candle is lit in honor for the memory of the babies who were lost. This Wave of Light burns around the entire world. President Reagan proclaimed October as the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October 1988. The awareness month helps others to reach out to the grieving families.
SIDS is one of the most common causes of death of infants. There are about 4,000 sleep-related infant deaths every year in the United States. Often SIDs is an unpreventable event, but there are risk factors that can be reduced by parents. We have compiled a list of ways to reduce the risk here.
Get rid of the cigarette smoke. Don’t smoke before the baby is born. Keep cigarette smoke away from the baby. Cigarette smoke is harmful to the unborn baby, and this includes secondhand smoke.
When you are pregnant, avoid cigarettes and smokers.
Be cautious about where you and the baby fall asleep. Never fall asleep while holding your baby in a chair, on the sofa, or in your bed. Bed sharing with other children or adults is dangerous to the baby. If you breastfeed, remember to put the baby back in bed before you nod off. Allowing an older sibling to sleep with the baby is also too risky.
It may seem mean to leave a baby in a crib without a pillow, but pillows can be dangerous. Use a firm crib mattress and put only the baby in the bed. Extra toys, blankets, and bumper pads should be taken out of the crib. Only the baby belongs in the baby bed. If something gets close to the baby’s face, rebreathing affects infant arousal.
The baby’s crib should be left in the room with the parents until the baby is at least 6 months old. After 6 months, the baby has the ability to roll over both ways. If the baby is less than 6 months old and has a cold, it needs extra comforting. Keep the crib close to you because babies with colds are at an extremely high risk for sudden death.
Cribs and bassinets are ideal places for baby to sleep. Stuffed animals don’t need to be cribmates until after the baby is old enough to roll over and sit up. Infants should be sleeping alone. You don’t want the toy to smother the baby.