Iowa Chapter

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Welcome to the Iowa Chapter of the Star Legacy Foundation!

Based in Dubuque, Iowa, our chapter serves Iowa and a small portion of Southwest Wisconsin.

Established in July 2018, we are a group of parents, family members, friends, and supporters of families with babies amongst the stars. We know the pain and devastation of losing a child and want you to know you are not alone.

Our Mission

Our mission is to:

  • Support bereaved parents
  • Educate the medical community and public about stillbirth
  • Increase awareness and address the stigma surrounding stillbirth
  • Raise funds for research
  • Prevent the loss of children to stillbirth

Current Initiatives

  • Cherish the Children: Held annually in October. This memorial walk and celebration of life helps us honor angel babies and raise money for the Star Legacy Foundation.
  • Monthly Iowa Chapter meetings: Third Tuesday of every month (Jan-Nov) from 6:30-7:30pm. Contact us for the location.
  • If you are in the area and want to connect with other parents who have experienced the loss of a child, or want to learn more about our cause, please contact us at [email protected].
  • Collaborate with local support groups and agencies
    • Angel Wings Support Group 563-590-3681
    • Babies Gone too Soon 608-571-2487
    • Compassionate Friends Support Group 563-590-2292
    • No Foot Too Small
    • SHARE Support Group and Resource Library 563-589-9599
    • Threshold Singers 515-451-2291

Future Chapter Services or Initiatives

  • Peer Support. Peer companions are individuals who have first-hand experience with pregnancy loss and neonatal death and have been trained to help others along their grief journey.
  • Photography: offering newborn photos to families who have experienced a loss at no cost.
  • Care Packages and a bereavement resources guide for families who have experienced a loss.
  • Advocacy Efforts. Our chapter will be working on state legislation to offer a stillborn tax credit and a certificate of stillbirth to bereaved families.
  • Educational Efforts. We plan to offer training related to stillbirth and child loss to healthcare and mental health providers.
  • Social Events. We will host area “socials” for families who have experienced loss to connect and build community such as bereaved mother’s and father’s day events.
  • Recruit participants for the Pregnancy Research Project

Upcoming Events

  • Jan – November: Monthly Chapter meetings
  • October: Kids Expo Outreach Event
  • October: Annual Celebration of Life Champion Events
  • December: Participate in Angel of Hope Event (SHARE)

Stillbirth Facts – why we do what we do……

Statistics: Top Ten Facts of Stillbirths in the US

  1. Iowa’s rate of fetal mortality is 4.2 fetal deaths for every 1,000 live births. The national rate is 5.96/1000 live births.
  2. Stillbirth is the most understudied issue in medicine today.
  3. The stillbirth rate in the US has not changed in the last 50 years.
  4. More than 26,000 babies are stillborn each year – 71 per day.
  5. One in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.
  6. 50% of stillbirths occur at full term and often seem to be otherwise healthy babies.
  7. 85% of stillbirths occur before delivery.
  8. More babies are stillborn annually than die from prematurity and SIDS combined.
  9. 77% of parents never worried their baby would die after the first trimester.
  10. The US ranks 48th out of 49 developed nations in the world for annual rate of reduction of stillbirths.

Source: Star Legacy Foundation

Chapter Leadership Team

  • Chair: Tara Velez
  • Vice Chair: Rita Wiegman
  • Secretary: Spring Connolly
  • Treasurer: Sherri Edwards
  • Event Chair: Jamie Moor
  • Family Support Chair: Courtney Runde
  • Education & Outreach Chair: Kelly McMahon

Contact the Iowa Chapter

952-715-7731 ext. 722
[email protected]

Grief Support

If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a child, you can call 952-715-7731 x 1.  Certified Grief Counselors staff this support line.

Star Legacy Foundation provides live, online support groups for families who have experienced a perinatal loss and for individuals experiencing a pregnancy after a loss. Groups are held via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing and facilitated by trained health professionals. Registration is required only for the first time you attend. After that you will receive a reminder before each session that will include login information specific to each session.  More information here.

  • Bereaved Parents of Perinatal Loss – 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 pm
    • This group is for parents who have lost a baby to pregnancy or neonatal loss.
  • Pregnancy After Loss – Every Monday at 7:30 pm
    • This group is for parents currently in a pregnancy following a prior loss.
  • Parenting After Loss – 2nd & 4th Mondays at 11:00 am
    • This group is for parents who are raising a rainbow baby after a previous loss.
  • Grandparents & Extended Family – 1st Wednesday of each month 6:30 pm
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