If your baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition before or shortly after birth, St. Elizabeth is here to stand alongside you with support and guidance. The Footprints Perinatal Program offers palliative care planning that begins during your pregnancy and focuses on medical decision-making, emotional support and comfort.
What is Perinatal Palliative Care?
Perinatal palliative care is a unique type/model of care for families when there is a pregnancy or newborn diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illness. With this model of care, specialized support is provided during the remainder of the pregnancy, through birth and the newborn period and loss.
Support through the Footprints Perinatal Program begins as soon as you find out your baby faces a life-limiting condition and continues through your pregnancy, delivery and beyond.
Your wishes take top priority. We want to minimize your fear and uncertainty and enable you to embrace whatever time you may have with your baby, during or after pregnancy. In addition, to support, there is a focus on memory-making, and understanding your and your family’s view of the quality of life and goals to help them navigate through the decisions about the type of care their baby will receive. This care happens alongside traditional medical care.
We’re here to help by providing:
- Resources and referrals as needed.
- Advocacy for your wishes during and after pregnancy.
- Assistance with making medical decisions.
- Counseling for you and your family.
- Education, including specific information about your baby’s diagnosis.
- Emotional support.
- Guidance for you and other family members on what to expect throughout the grieving process.
- Help with the creation of memories and keepsakes.
- Preparation for meeting your baby, and understanding what limitations may be present at birth.
- Pastoral care – Chaplains provide emotional and spiritual support to individuals and family members.
- Plan of care for your baby, which may include medical interventions as needed in the home, hospital or eventually with the support of hospice care.