Support and Counseling
If you have other children who are also experiencing this loss, we have support services from our Child Life Specialist to help you navigate their grief and understanding.
We offer the Pregnancy Infant Loss Group, led by Sue Steen, a Perinatal Nurse Navigator, to help you find a support community. The group provides a safe, confidential environment for bereaved parents to process their loss with other parents who have similar experiences. We can also offer referrals to counselors and other support groups.
We are here to help you navigate your options when it comes to testing after baby. These tests are designed to offer you additional information which may perhaps allay fears or worries, or provide critically important information, especially if you are considering trying for another baby.
Parental Rights - Early Loss
Rights of Parents When Experiencing Loss Early in Pregnancy
You should have the opportunity:
- To be with each other as much as possible during any tests, procedures, or hospitalizations.
- To be cared for by an empathetic staff who will respect your feelings, beliefs, and requests.
- To have information regarding your baby’s status and/or cause of death (if known) presented in terminology you understand, including pathology reports and medical records.
- To be informed of all your options and given the choice, when possible on how to proceed.
- To be able to see and hold your baby and take photographs, when possible.
- To be given the option to name your baby, whether or not gender is known.
- To observe cultural and religious practices appropriate to the situation.
- To learn about the grieving process and given referrals and resources to help you through your grief.
- To be offered as many mementoes as possible, such as ultrasound photos, memory box, and certificate of life.
- To be given information on your hospital’s disposition policy and offered choices wherever possible.
- To be given options about farewell rituals, such as a hospital memorial service, balloon release, or private burial at home.
- To receive follow-up appointments for medical tests and genetic counseling or to review lab test results.
- These rights should be granted to anyone, no matter how early loss occurred.
Adapted from “Rights of Parents who Experience an Early Pregnancy Loss”, by Perry-Lynn Moffit, co-author of A Silent Sorrow and endorsed by Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc. and pregnancy and perinatal loss supports groups and leaders nationally.
Parental Rights - Loss of Baby
Rights of Parents When Experiencing Loss of Baby
- To be given the opportunity to see, hold, touch, and bathe your baby before and after death, within reason.
- To have photographs taken and made available to you or held in a secure place until you are ready to see them.
- To be given as many mementos as possible—crib card, baby beads, ultrasound and/or other photos, lock of hair, baby clothing and blankets, feet and handprints and/or permanent molds, and record of weight and length.
- To name your child and bond with him, her, or them.
- To observe cultural and religious practices.
- To be cared for by empathetic staff who will respect your thoughts, feelings, believes, and requests.
- To be with each other throughout your hospitalization as much as possible.
- To be given time alone with your baby, allowing for your individual needs.
- To be informed of the grieving process.
Copyright@1991 Adapted by Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc., with permission from Women’s College Hospital, Perinatal Bereavement Team, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Updated 2006
- To be given the option of donating baby’s cartilage, tissue, and/or organs for transplant or donating the baby’s body to science.
- To request an autopsy. In the case of miscarriage, to request an autopsy or pathology exam, as determined by applicable law.
- To have information regarding your baby’s status and cause of death presented in terminology that you can understand, as well as medical reports and records.
- To plan a farewell burial, ritual, or cremation in compliance with local and state regulations and personal believes and religious or cultural traditions.
- To get information on support that can help the healing process—support groups, internet support, counseling, reading material, and perinatal loss newsletters.