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Press Release

Healthcare history is made - Bill 141 - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness, Research and Care Act becomes law

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 8, 2015) -

Editor's Note: There is one image associated with this release.

Today, history was made with the passing of Bill 141 in Ontario, which represents the first known healthcare legislation of its kind in North America.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, Research, and Care Act, 2015 has become law in the province of Ontario. The Bill has received widespread support across the legislature from all parties and the enthusiastic support of The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The Ministry now has an additional duty to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to conduct research, expand programs for families impacted by pregnancy loss and infant death and will officially proclaim October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in the province of Ontario.

Mike Colle, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence has led the Private Members Bill working collaboratively with PAIL Network and with the broad support of families across the province. "It is time to end the silence and make it possible to help mothers and families deal with this traumatic loss that so many experience every year in this province," says Colle.

Bill 141 represents a significant step to addressing a glaring healthcare need across Ontario, when one considers that nearly 20 per cent of Canadians now suffer a pregnancy loss or infant death. The quality of care bereaved parents receive across the province has to change.

"As Ontario's leading organization for pregnancy and infant loss for the past 25 years, we believe that this is precedent-setting legislation that we hope will spark other provinces across the country to quickly follow, this is a healthcare issue affecting hundreds of thousands of families and healthcare professionals across Canada," said Michelle La Fontaine, bereaved mother and president, board of directors for the Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network.

There is no greater heartbreak than a parent forced to live with the death of their child, and today at Queen's Park this has been recognized by the provincial government. "We believe this is a crucial first step in acknowledging the 37,000 families across Ontario that experience pregnancy and infant loss each year that desperately need our support," says La Fontaine. "Communities across the country desperately need more support and resources and we know that far too often, families are suffering in silence."

Just ask Jamie McCleary, an Ontario mother who has experienced the tragic death of two sons, Perrin in 2007 and Matteson in 2008. She knows first-hand how painful and confusing a time it can be. She understands how important it is to have access to support and sensitive professional care that honours both the pregnancy and the loss.

"Mothers shouldn't have to weep at the computer, desperately trying to find someone to talk to, fathers shouldn't have to sneak off to the bathroom to let their own tears fall, trying to be strong for their partners," says McCleary. "Parents shouldn't have to be so terrified of feeling that pain again, that they never try to have another child. Help should be there, always, thank god for PAIL Network."

According to Wendy Moulsdale, a nurse practitioner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the chair of education for PAIL Network, the approval of Bill 141is an important step in the right direction.

"Having personally supported hundreds of families experiencing the loss of a baby and trained even more healthcare professionals on how to provide compassionate bereavement care, it is crucial that we make pregnancy and infant loss a priority healthcare issue. I believe this Bill is an important step to begin collaborating with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Together we can share knowledge and clinical best-practices to establish standardized and compassionate care for bereaved families across the province," adds Moulsdale.

In addition to the many family support programs, one-on-one peer support hotline for grieving parents, events and resources available on the PAIL Network website, PAIL Network's expertise is increasingly being sought to educate healthcare providers from doctors, nurses, social workers and ultra-sound technicians, to midwives, doulas, and funeral home directors across Ontario and beyond. They call PAIL Network year-round for training and advice to help deliver compassionate care to those suffering from the tragic and traumatic loss of a baby.

About Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network:

PAIL Network was formed in 1992 and is the recognized leader in Ontario for pregnancy and infant bereavement care, helping families and healthcare professionals for almost 25 years. Previously known as the Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario, the organization was founded by four bereaved parents who realized that special community support services were needed for families who had experienced the tragic loss of a pregnancy or infant. PAIL Network provides much needed resources, workshops, peer led support groups, training and a support hotline for parents and primary healthcare providers. If you are grieving the loss of your pregnancy or baby PAIL Network understands and is here to help. To access more resources please visit or call PAIL Network at 1-888-301-7276.

To view the image associated with this release, please visit:

For photos, interview opportunities and inspiring stories of
loss and perseverance please contact:
Heath Applebaum
Echo Communications Inc.
Tel: 416.576.9260

Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network
Kemayla Fleming
Executive Director
Tel: 416.358.2800
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