ChristianaCare

Coping With Loss

Losing your baby is one of the most distressing experiences you’ll ever go through. We are here to help, support and advice through all that follows after a devastating and difficult event.

What Happens Now?

Depressed mom reclining on the bed in a hospital ward

There are probably many hard questions going through your mind. There are some decisions that you may need to make depending on the length of your pregnancy. We are here to help you decide how you would like to care for your baby.

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What Choices Do We Have?

Autopsy

Many parents say one of the most difficult parts of losing a baby is not knowing why, and an autopsy may help you find the answer. Please ask to speak to your health care provider, chaplain, or spiritual leader when making this decision. If you choose to have an autopsy completed, the results will not be available immediately and you will need to make an appointment with your healthcare provider after you have left the hospital to review these results. Your provider will receive the results in 2-3 months. You may take up to 24 hours to decide whether an autopsy is right for your baby. If you are discharged from the hospital and have not made a decision yet, you will be given a card with instructions for how to call the hospital once you have made a decision.

Funeral Arrangements

We understand that this is a very hard time for you to have to make decisions about your baby. The hospital can take care of your baby or you may choose a private funeral home to assist you.

What does the hospital do?

You may not feel able to plan a funeral at this time.
 If you choose to have the hospital take care of your baby, your baby will be cremated; however the ashes cannot be returned to you. There is no cost to you for this service. Some parents feel this is a good choice
 for them. Even with this choice, you can have a small, private service for your child. A chaplain or social worker is here to help you plan the best way for you to honor your child’s memory.

What other options are there?

You may choose private burial or cremation. Burial may be with another family member or in a children’s section of a cemetery. If you choose cremation, some parents bury the ashes and some keep them in a special place. You may want to choose a funeral home to take care of your baby. We have a list of funeral homes, 
if needed. You can call them to ask about burial, cremation, funerals and any questions about costs.

If you are still not sure what to do, your nurse can contact a hospital social worker or chaplain to assist you in making any decisions.

Christiana Care Pastoral Services

Your priest, minister, rabbi, imam or other spiritual caregiver is welcome to visit you. Christiana Care focuses on the whole person.

The chaplain focuses mainly on emotional and spiritual support of your care. Chaplains from our Pastoral Services Department help support families with their emotional and spiritual well-being in a variety of ways.

A chaplain can help through prayer, sacraments and other specific spiritual and/or religious practices; help you deal with difficult issues; help you think through decisions about the care of your baby; and to help you renew strength and hope.

The Christiana Hospital Chapel is located on the first floor off Christiana Hospital’s main lobby. The chapel is one place for quiet thoughts, prayers and re ection.

Roman Catholic Mass, Saturday – 4 p.m., Room 1100

Worship Service, Sunday – 9:30 a.m., Christiana Hospital Chapel