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Award-Winning

Footprints Infertility & Pregnancy Loss 
Support Initiative 

Blaise Hunter non-profit Footprints
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"No matter if they are a dream that hasn't come true or if they left before they truly began; their footprints will forever be on our hearts."

Footprints is dedicated to bringing grieving parents together. This is a safe place to grieve, heal, share, and gather information on how to navigate through this journey. No longer do we need to feel ashamed or sit alone with our pain. We are all Mothers of Purpose and Fathers of Destiny. This is an inclusive platform dedicated to providing support, healing, and belonging. The mandate for Footprints is a two-part mission:

1) Improve the systems on the frontlines to ensure parents get the proper care, information, and emotional support the moment their trauma happens. This includes handing out mental health support bags. And collaborating with workplaces, health organizations, and governing bodies to create better protocols and procedures when dealing with loss and reproductive health rights.

2) Create a worldwide support community to continue the efforts in bridging the gap in emotional and mental health in the following weeks, months, and years.

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Resources

Healing Heart-Meditation

Blaise founded this non-profit organization in 2018 after experiencing three miscarriages of her own. She felt the lack of empathy in the system and the barbaric practices that take place. Determined to heal her heart and ensure no other parent goes what she went through, Blaise became the change. She also wanted to create a safe haven for dads too. Men grieve too! Unfortunately even in the 21st century, there aren't many resources for grieving dads. Blaise created regular support group meetings which transitioned to online during the pandemic and continues today with her Facebook Group. 

Blaise partnered with her local community and the medical staff to create hand-made support bags to be given out on the frontlines and mailed all over the world free of charge. These bags include mental health resource tools, a certificate of life, a Footprints bracelet, a copy of Blaise's book Heroine, and helpful information for men and women to assist them in this process. Bags are available in Nanaimo and at the Bonnyville Medical Clinic and the Cold Lake Primary Care Network. If you live outside these areas, Blaise will mail a support bag to you free of charge.

In 2019, Blaise was able to create a standing memorial in her community for parents to honour the memory or dream of their babies. Blaise is a three-time award-winning humanitarian for her advocacy with Footprints. She fights for parents' rights as well as contends to make our angel babies count. She is changing the medical system one hospital at a time. Blaise is determined to put the care back into healthcare. Her mission is to create a ripple effect of compassion and healing all over the world starting with the community in which she abides. Everywhere she goes, the citizens are impacted by her heart. Since its inception, Footprints has won local, national, and global awards for the positive impact it is making on this world. Blaise is a certified human rights advocate from Washington, DC, specializing in reproductive health. She is on a crusade to defend the rights of parents and the lives of their babies. In 2022, Blaise was selected to represent Canada at an International Human Rights Summit in Istanbul, Turkey to speak on her work and advocacy with reproductive rights issues. Delegates from around the world champion her efforts.

"We are not barren. We are all Mothers of Purpose.

It is time to pick up our miscarried dreams and birth change and be at peace."

If you or someone you know is going through infertility or experiencing a loss of a pregnancy or a baby, please contact the Footprints team at blaisethetrail@gmail.com and a support bag will be mailed out to you. If you are needing further support, someone from Footprints will assist you in your journey. Blaise also offers a 4 week video series to help with the emotional aspect of healing. When you feel lost in your grief, you can always go to the MAPP to find your way back to peace.

Find Your Voice. This is a challenge for everyone. We need people going through infertility and loss to discover safety and courage to speak up and we also require society to engage in the conversation and not shy away from the awkwardness of it. We all need to lean in. Let’s have an open-ended conversation with family, friends, and co-workers and put it at the forefront of the discussion in a loving, non-threatening, and supportive way. What people usually need is for someone to listen and acknowledge their feelings. To show you support them without prying or intruding on their private grief or stress, invite people to express what they are going through without asking a lot of questions. To support a friend with infertility, educate yourself, and remember, it's more helpful to hold space and listen than to try and say the perfect words. Here are some tips for sensitive and supportive communication with someone facing fertility issues:

1. Validate their feelings.

A study suggests most people with infertility or pregnancy loss do not share their struggles with family or friends. This secrecy increases their feelings of depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.  Asking open-ended questions like, "How can I best support you?" or, "What can I do for you during this time?" shows that you want to understand their situation and can open the door to a helpful dialogue.

 

2. Show up for them.

Give them grace and space and allow them to share at the pace that they feel comfortable sharing. Say, “Maybe I can’t fully understand or relate to your experience, but I can sit in the mess with you, and you can lean on me.”

3. Don't minimize their condition.

Don’t minimize the pain and sorrow a couple may be experiencing. Being overly positive about a situation does not help either. There's no certainty when facing infertility and just saying, “I’m sorry you are going through this hardship,” is a soft landing for someone suffering.

4. Don't compare.

Every person's journey with infertility or grief is different. Comparing someone's situation with someone else's can create stress and make them feel as if they're doing something wrong.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is more common than you may think. Even if you experienced a pregnancy loss or infant loss your body is still physically going through a postpartum process. Talk to your loved ones about the signs of postpartum depression. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms.

• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

• Irritability

• Trouble bonding or connecting with other children you may have 

• Lack of understanding of hormones or not knowing how to cope with HCG levels declining in the body

• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness

• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

• Fatigue or abnormal decrease in energy

• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

• Difficulty sleeping or waking early in the morning, or oversleeping

• Abnormal appetite, weight changes, or both

• Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

• Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not have a clear physical cause or that do not ease even with treatment

• Thoughts about death, suicide, or harming oneself 

 

Moms with PPD may show multiple signs and symptoms that can last for more than 2 weeks, and PPD is one of the more common medical complications during and after pregnancy. Approximately 1 in 8 mothers report experiencing symptoms of PPD each year. 1 in 10 partners also experience PPD as well. Perinatal (including postpartum) depression can affect any parent, regardless of her age, number of kids, ethnicity, marital status, or income. While only a doctor can make a formal diagnosis of PPD, it’s important for you and your loved ones to understand the signs and symptoms. The signs of PPD aren’t the same for every woman. Make a plan with your loved ones to watch out for any changes in your mood after you give birth and a pregnancy loss. 

Donate $25 or more and receive a hand-made Footprints bracelet

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Blaise Hunter Footprints
Blaise Hunter Footprints memorial

"The support bag from Blaise was truly beautiful. I could feel her heart throughout it. Footprints was so helpful in my grieving process. Hearing other family's miscarriage stories and knowing I had people to talk to that understood the journey is what got me through that first month after losing my baby." - Alicia

"My wife and I were so appreciative of the support bag from Blaise and Robb. It brought both of us to tears and was exactly what we needed after the loss of our baby." - Josh

 

"Footprints is very important to my husband and I. After suffering three miscarriages, we were sent home with very little to no information and a whirlwind of emotions. Not understanding how to deal with the emotions can really feel like you are the only one suffering. What Blaise has done is really remarkable. We had gone to the Footprints meeting and received an information package from her. It was full of support and empathy and I believe everyone should get that chance to feel supported and not alone

in trauma and suffering." - Teresa

"Being a survivor of infertility and many long-distance treatments for our infertility, such as multiple IVF and donor egg treatments in Edmonton, as well as a specialized surgery in B.C., I know first-hand how a local support group such as Footprints could positively impact local families. When we were dealing with our infertility from 2010-2014, I had no local support available to me. I turned to Google and International online forums for information and resources. If I would have had the support of a local community, face-to-face, going through the same emotional trauma that my husband and I were, it could have made a huge difference in some of my darkest days where I had no real person who understood me, to turn to. Infertility and pregnancy loss are not just a medical condition, but a mental health condition, as well. I will continue to support local families currently suffering, by staying involved through Footprints.

I highly recommend this important group and its initiatives." - Robyn

Dear Warriors,

I created this initiative because my husband and I experienced the death of our three babies and the grief that accompanied them. I took a leap of faith to create something where we could feel connected and not isolated. No longer do we need to live in shame and silence. It is time to break free and allow healing to happen. I decided to turn my pain into my purpose. This is my legacy. 

 

I invite you to join me in my quest for change. I want to see better systems in place for grieving mothers and fathers. I want to have more resources included on the frontlines. I want to encourage people who haven't experienced infertility or loss to join the Footprints community because there is strength in numbers and power in empathy. Day after day we will see change because we are the change.

Love, 

Blaise

Fertility Schmertility - MAPP Your Life To Peace

Discovering Peace Amongst the Pain

Follow along a 4 week video series that guides you through the MAPP to find peace and balance. Blaise is a peer who has endured three miscarriages and knows grief intimately. She has been certified in several support group facilitation courses to help other parents work through their emotions.

Footprints strongly supports the use of counselling during your grief journey. Are you are a mother looking for individual guidance to manage feelings of anxiety during a subsequent pregnancy? Maybe you are a couple who have been struggling to communicate ever since you lost your baby. Perhaps you are parents who would like to learn more about how to effectively support your grieving children after they've experienced the death of their baby sibling. No matter your situation, we can help get you connected to support that will get you on a path towards hope and healing. If you need any help navigating these resources, please don't hesitate to contact us for guidance and support.

 

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Heroine: Embrace Your Flaws & Own Your Awesome captured attention with readers across the country. The Canadian Book Club Awards presented by The Self Publishing Agency, is a platform based out of Vancouver, BC that celebrates Canadian writers.

 

This is the ultimate readers-choice awards for authors and readers. Book clubs from across the country vote for the best books in their chosen genre. The CBCA honours great books that are worthy of telling others about. Thought-provoking stories that prompt insightful conversations are what they look for. Blaise starts a meaningful dialogue surrounding infertility and pregnancy loss and shatters the silence barriers.

More Resource Tools

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Diversity and Gender Management: Reproductive Health Best Practices Guidelines for Gender Equality in the Workplace

All businesses have the responsibility to respect human rights not only within their own operations, but also throughout supply chains, and within impacted communities. Reproductive health rights are outlined as human rights yet there is insufficient language in employee policies that address the protection of these rights. Gender equity is about removing barriers that stop people from reaching their full potential. Too often, women and gender-diverse people experience unfairness. This is especially true when they also struggle with injustices like poverty, racism, ableism and/or homophobia, and reproductive health matters.

When all citizens – regardless of their gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or ability – can reach their full potential, our communities and economy are stronger, better places for everyone.

In her research, Blaise has found it is widely accepted there are three key components of a best practice approach to advance workplace gender equality and diversity.

• Increasing awareness of gender equality and challenging widespread myths

• Changing structures instead of people

• Adopting an intersectional approach to gender equality in the workplace

Gender-inclusive best practices allow for integrating sexual or reproductive health topics to be standard discussions in the workplace. It also issues an invitation for staff to feel comfortable and supported. These guidelines include the right to have access to safe, stigma-free reproductive health care conversations with their employer. The goal is to normalize reproductive health for organizations and champion a culture of health, safety, and equity for everyone. It is the duty and responsibility of an organization to believe in reproductive health and safety and be committed to creating a safeguarded working environment for all staff. This isn’t just a women’s issue. Reproductive health affects all and management should foster a climate of respect to protect all individuals in their journey while working for a company. All businesses should recognize that this moment in time will require them to step up and defend the rights of employees and others facing serious harm.

 

In her workshops and presentations, Blaise provides awareness, education, and clear direction on how to adopt inclusive HR guidelines and intersectional approaches in navigating reproductive health rights in the workplace.

The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule, or impose themself in any other way...   Albert Einstein

It is my destiny to serve humanity

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Blaise Hunter UK tour
In the news
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Queen Mother, the Ambassador of Goodwill for Africa at the United Nations

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Blaise was part of the Edmonton Public Library's Summit on infertility & loss awareness. She was featured on Global TV and CTV News as an expert guest.
Click the icons to view the story:

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Blaise Hunter
Blaise Hunter
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Footprints Memorial Unveiling

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Footprints is funded by a community that cares

Everyone around the world is connected to someone dealing with infertility or loss. Be a bridge builder today and partner with Blaise.

blaisethetrail@gmail.com

Blaise Hunter Footprints
Blaise Hunter Footprints

Together We Make Our Babies Count

In Loving Memory

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Baby Hunter 2016

Baby Hunter 2017

Baby Hunter 2017

Heart

These are my footprints, so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints, never touched the ground at all.


Not one tiny footprint, for now I have my wings.
These tiny footprints were meant for other things.


You will hear my tiny footprints, in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angels tears, of joy and not from pain.


You will see my tiny footprints, in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you, if you give me just a chance.


You will see my tiny footprints, in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind, and call each one that grieves.


Most of all, these tiny footprints, are found in mummy's heart,
'cause even though I'm gone now, we'll never truly part."

Look For Me In Rainbows

Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever, the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you,
And I'll be there with you.

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