Perinatal Bereavement & Palliative Care NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL
The H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Palliative Care Program
The H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Palliative Care Program cares for families that have been given a life-limiting diagnosis for their unborn child and have made the decision to continue their pregnancy. If you have been given a life-limited diagnosis for your baby and would like to learn more about how the the H.E.A.R.T.strings Palliative Care Program can help please contact us. We would be honored to be a support to you on this journey during your pregnancy and beyond.
This care program supports families through anticipating the possibility of a loss. Anticipatory grief has many of the same symptoms as those experienced after a death has occurred, however the grief may begin at the time of diagnosis rather than at the time of death. Parents who have carried to term report that the experience of the diagnosis is the hardest part of the journey – even if the birth results in loss. Please take a moment to explore the sections below and then submit a form if you would like to receive more information about the program.
More Information About Our Program
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perinatal Palliative Care at northside hospital
The H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Palliative Care program supports families through anticipating the possibility of a loss.Anticipatory grief has many of the same symptoms as those experienced after a death has occurred, however the grief may begin at the time of diagnosis rather than at the time of death.Parents who have carried to term report that the experience of the diagnosis is the hardest part of the journey – even if the birth results in loss.
Our program offers an interdisciplinary team approach which involves the baby’s parents, family, physicians, nurses, chaplains, hospice, and others in order to provide comprehensive and compassionate care during the life of your baby.Whether you have weeks, hours, or minutes to spend with your baby, we aim to make every moment meaningful.
Palliative care is also called “comfort care” because the focus is not on treatments that cure or prolong life but on family-centered care that promote quality of life, no matter how short.
We have provided palliative care support to families that have been given diagnoses such as, but not limited to: Acrania, Anencephaly, Congenital Cardiac Defects, Potter's Syndrome, Skeletal Dysplasia, Triploidy, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18.
How Can you Be Referred?
Once you have made a decision to continue your pregnancy and have communicated that to your obstetrician and perinatologist, you will need to meet with a neonatologist. Typically, your perinatologist arranges this appointment for you can set this up for you, or you can contact us to initiate that appointment. Following your neonatal consult, we will schedule a time to meet with you and your family in the H.E.A.R.T.strings office to make a plan of care for your delivery and the care of your baby, based on your wishes for your experience. We then work with Labor and Delivery, High Risk Perinatal, and Special Care Nursery staff to implement the family’s plan of care.
Any family who has been given a fatal diagnosis for their unborn baby can contact us directly to learn about resources and services.Please click on the button below to fill out the form for more information.
What to Expect at our meeting
Ahead of our meeting, we will send you a list of questions to consider, as well as the book, A Gift of Time by Amy Kuebelbeck and Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., as a resource. Our meeting will include members of the H.E.A.R.T.strings staff, Special Care Nursery (NICU) and a chaplain. We will take time discussing your concerns and wishes, as well as asking you specific questions about things such as monitoring of the baby during labor, taking care of extended family who may be there, the collection of keepsakes and pictures, and much more. With this information, we will create a plan for your delivery which is communicated throughout the hospital.
Following our meeting, we will stay in touch to check on you and make any updates to your plan as necessary. It is our goal that you may be as prepared as possible, having made decisions ahead of time, so that you can solely focus on your time with your baby. We are here to guide and support you through this special journey.