Footprints Perinatal Palliative Care

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 Services

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.

Contact Footprints

For more information about the Footprints Program or to schedule a meeting with the Perinatal team, please call the Genetic Navigator line at
(859) 301-9475

Who is Eligible for the Footprints Perinatal Program?

Patients may be eligible any time there is a diagnosis where the likelihood of long-term survival is uncertain or minimal. This is also true when there is a low likelihood of survival without severe morbidity or prolonged technology dependence. Decisions around the most appropriate treatment plan are often based on views of acceptable quality of life. Examples would be:



  • Acardia
  • Inoperable lesions
  • Lesions with poor prognosis despite palliative surgery options

Central nervous system

  • Anencephaly
  • Alobar holoprosencephaly
  • Pontocerebellar hypoplasia
  • Hydrancephaly
  • Giant encephaloceles
  • Spinal muscular atrophy


  • Bilateral renal agenesis with anhydramnios (Potter’s
  • Thanatophoric dysplasia and other severe skeletal
  • Short rib polydactyly syndrome
  • Congential diaphragmatic hernia with low O:E lung
  • Severe hydrops fetalis
  • Severe pulmonary hypoplasia
  • Severe pentalogy of cantrell
  • Limb-body wall complex
  • Severe forms of conjoined twins

Grief Counseling & Support Groups

Experiencing perinatal loss or the loss of a newborn is one of the most difficult things you will endure. You are not on this journey alone. Other parents who have been in your place can help you find meaning in your loss and offer hope for the weeks and years ahead.

Counselors who specialize in perinatal loss can also help. The St. Elizabeth Community Grief Support Center provides individual, family and group grief counseling to help you through this experience. The Center is free and open to all in our community who face the loss of a loved one.

Contact a St. Elizabeth Hospice Bereavement Coordinator to arrange a consultation at (859) 301-4611 or email:

Location Details

483 S. Loop Dr.
Edgewood, KY 41017

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.