Many couples will choose to carry their baby to term. They see this as a way to parent their newest family member and cherish whatever moments they have before and after the child’s birth. Families call this a gift of time – time to affirm, honor and celebrate their baby’s life.
Choosing to carry to term is not an easy decision for any parent, but those who have done so voice no regret. Parents often say they would do it again to relive the time they had with their baby, whether it was 10 minutes or 10 days.
In the past, families who chose to carry their baby to term after an adverse diagnosis did so with little emotional or practical support. But today, they need no longer travel this road alone. Perinatal hospice care – a growing trend – can offer them help and guidance along the way.
Perinatal hospice is designed for parents who have received a devastating prenatal diagnosis and elect to continue the pregnancy despite the likelihood that their baby will die before or after birth. It compassionately provides such families with the clear and relevant information they need. Simply stated, the perinatal hospice team comes alongside the family as they make meaningful plans to honor and celebrate the life of their baby.
Perinatal hospice care begins at the time of diagnosis and continues through delivery and the bereavement period. It focuses on the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of everyone in the family. This is accomplished by an experienced team of physicians, nurses and counselors who plan and coordinate their efforts according to a family’s particular situation.
If you decide on this path, it is important to choose an obstetrician who will support your wishes and walk through the process with you without criticism or disagreement.