Singapore – In conjunction with the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which was celebrated on 12th October, theAsianparent (TAP), the content and community platform for parents in SEA, has recently hosted a region-wide webinar series, to mark the first anniversary of Project Sidekicks, the platform’s corporate social responsibility initiative that aims to raise awareness around stillbirth in the region and promote real action to support families through their pregnancy journey.
The webinar series, which was hosted and moderated by Nadine Yap, theAsianparent’s chief product officer, was launched available in six countries, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as the Philippines, and Vietnam, with topics of pregnancy health habits, post-pregnancy recovery, and coping with pregnancy loss.
In Singapore, the event welcomed Minister of State (MOS) Xueling Sun from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Education as the keynote speaker. Sun noted that in August this year, the Singapore government had amended the Child Development Co-Savings Act to better support parents of stillborn children, allowing working parents of a stillborn child to benefit from government paid leave, as well as maternity and paternity leave and shared parental leave.
“This move would help support parents who would have undergone the trauma of a stillbirth. It would give them time, space, and help to recover physically and emotionally during such a difficult period of their lives,” said Sun.
Apart from benefit schemes for parents of stillborn Singaporean children, MOS Sun also highlighted the revised definition of stillbirth by the new Registration of Births and Deaths Act, which states that stillbirth is one delivered after the 22nd week of pregnancy and not after the 28th week as previously defined.
Sun commented, “Through this amendment, we hope that more parents can be supported in terms of Government paid leave and benefits. We all know that parents struggle after the loss of a child, including after stillbirth. It is gut-wrenching to send off a young child, a baby, and the grief can have many downstream effects.”
Meanwhile, Roshni Mahtani-Cheung, theAsianparent’s group CEO and founder, commented that they are incredibly proud of what the government has done and their tremendous progress in helping to ease the suffering of parents who have suffered a stillbirth and provide them with the time and the space to heal and to return to daily life in a healthier way.
“Here at theAsianparent, our mission has always been about making better parents, better children, and through that a better tomorrow,” said Mahtani-Cheung.
During the webinar, TAP has also launched ‘Project Sidekicks’ official video titled ‘A letter to Hope, a message of hope’, featuring the mascot, Hope the Penguin, to send a powerful message about finding hope in the mid of grief.