Support for Perinatal Loss

The loss of a pregnancy or newborn is a devastating experience. Please allow us to extend our deepest sympathy.

At this tragic and numbing time, when it is difficult to think and make decisions, parents have told us that the following information can be helpful:

Seeing and Holding Your Baby

Many parents feel that seeing, holding and touching their baby is an important way to validate his or her existence. If the baby is old enough, you may treasure this opportunity to hold your child in your arms while saying good-bye.

Taking Pictures of Your Baby

A picture can provide a lasting memory of your child for you and your family. Please let us know if you would like to have one of our nurses take these photos for you. If you wish to include a special outfit or memento, please bring it to the hospital so we can include it.

Carilion Clinic’s SHARE Program

SHARE stands for a Source of Help in Airing and Resolving Experiences related to the death of a baby. Friends and even family often don’t understand what you are going through and don’t know how they can help. Carilion Clinic’s SHARE Program provides bereavement literature to aid in your grieving process. We also hold an annual service of remembrance for families who have experienced the loss of an infant through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death.

Other Helpful Information

A miscarriage is the term used to describe the unplanned end of a pregnancy before a baby can live on his or her own. This generally occurs before 20 weeks gestation. Talk to your doctor about any medical intervention or testing that may be necessary.

Genetic testing and autopsy are options to consider, as they can provide more information about the cause of death. While they may not answer all your questions, these tests may help you understand or rule out risk factors for future pregnancies.

A funeral home resource book is available to help assist you and your family with decisions regarding burial or cremation.