2 Degrees Foundation strives to raise stillbirth awareness, support in NJ

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An organization founded by two women from northern New Jersey, one who is from Kearny, are fighting to educate – as well as provide comfort – for women and their families throughout the state dealing with the tragedy of stillbirths. 

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Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya, of Maplewood, and Stacey Dinburg, of Kearny, established the 2 Degrees Foundation earlier this year – two years after the New Jersey legislature passed the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Dignity Act – named after Vijayvergiya’s stillborn daughter.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in hopes of establishing more sensitive policies and procedures to handle stillbirths, as well as to establish protocols in evaluating fetal deaths in New Jersey.

The National Health Service defines stillbirth as “a baby born dead after 24 weeks of completed pregnancy.”

“Right now, stillbirth is very taboo: nobody wants to talk about dead babies,” Dinburg told Hudson County View.

She later explained how the 2 Degrees Foundation came about, with Vijayvergiya later adding the organization strives to provide comfort to families that have endured the same struggles they have.

Dinburg also noted that she believes there’s a “lack of support” from some healthcare professionals in the state that handle stillbirths.

Vijayvergiya concluded by stating they don’t want to elicit fear regarding the subject of childbirth, but that the 2 Degrees Foundation just wants expecting mothers to be informed.

More information can be found on the 2 Degrees Foundation website.

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