Fatal Diagnosis Birth Plan

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More Information:

Please, visit our birth planning page as well

which will lead you to our diagnosis birth planning options and

 has additional birth education.

The Birth Plan:

This plan is specific to your baby being born, and then dying during your hospital stay or shortly after birth. There are additional notes and options given, for a situation in which your baby survives longer than expected and may be discharged from the hospital with you.  Whichever outcome you are expecting, it may be best to at least have some information regarding the other possible outcome. 

You will find important information related to fatal diagnosis here.

You may want to print our extra time birth plan as well.


What to Pack:

__ camera, stillbirthday.com lists professional photographers at the “professionals/volunteers” page.

__photo of you and your husband to keep with baby
__Clinging Cross

__*additional special items: two teddy bears or blankets (one to leave with your baby, and one to take home), mold for baby’s hands or feet

__Music and player

__Favorite candle (in glass jar, for warmer)

__Personal fan

__Several wash cloths, for hot or cold compresses (optional-hospitals have plenty)

__Thermos of hot water

__Massage tools: rice packs, rolling pin, paint roller, oil

__Unscented and scented lotion

__Birth ball

__Pillows (1 or 2) and colored cases

__Change of clothes for labor partner

__Snacks for labor partner

__Gum or mints for labor partner!

__Husband’s cologne, aftershave, deodorant, or other smell preferred by the mother (he’ll wear it)

__Snacks for you: light snacking during birth, orange juice postpartum

__Suckers or other hard candy

__Lip balm

__Cell phone or calling card

__Loose change for phone or snacks

__Phone list for support people to join you for hospital visitation

__Ultrasound pictures, favorite scriptures

__*baby’s outfits (for visitation through to final farewell/burial)

__*several different folding-style hats and gauze for baby with cephalic diagnosis

__*organ and breastmilk donation and other things you may have decided – and the ability to change your mind about any decision at any time

__Toiletries: contact case, shampoo, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.

__Night gown or robe (might get soiled)

__Going home outfit for mom (2nd trimester clothes)

__a carseat, in the event that your baby survives longer than expected and can return home with you



Have at Home:

__people ready to help!
__maxi pads (for lochia)

__any equipment that you may need in the event that your baby will survive a short time and be able to come home with you

__nursing pads (and cabbage, sage tea, and decongestant for expedited weaning, or a hospital grade pump and storage bags/bottles for milk donation)  There is more in-depth information regarding post-loss lactation, and ways to help dry quickly or to pump for donation, at stillbirthday, available on the same page that you printed this birth plan.






Natural Options/Information:


  • IV, with option of Heparin Lock instead
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Possible continuous fetal monitoring
  • No food or drink
  • No standing, because of risk of placenta pulling from uterus and causing internal bleeding
  • Hands and knees on ball or on bed
  • Left Side Lying


Ways of creating a soothing environment for birthing include (but definitely not limited to):

__dimmed lights

__soft music

__massage (scalp, feet, legs, back, even brushing teeth)

__inspirational messages and scriptures written on index cards or spoken aloud

__letters written from extended family and friends who can’t attend the birth (read by husband)

__pictures drawn by older siblings posted in room (and left with baby)


__water therapy (bath until waters rupture, shower, misting spray)

__hot and cold therapy

__intimacy and bonding with husband



Artificial Induction Options/Information:

  • Possible cervical ripening agents (Cytotec-tablet or Cervidil-similar to a tampon applicator)
  • Pitocin (possibly no water breaking)
  • Likelihood of Epidural or Narcotic (Stadol, Nubain are examples)


Pitocin Info:

+         Can start labor

+         Can speed up a slowed labor

+         Can increase intensity of contractions

+         Can stop a postpartum hemorrhage

+         Can be regulated and monitored closely

+         Can be turned off if necessary

–         Difficult to produce natural progression of contractions

–         Pain from Pitocin is often more difficult to deal with

–         Requires IV and constant monitoring

–         Mom small chance of hyptertensive episodes

–         Mom small chance of titanic contractions

–         Mom small chance of uterine spasm

–         Mom very small chance of coma



Epidural Info:

+     Catheter into epidural space in spinal column (1st space)

+      No need to repeatedly puncture: catheter can re administer or continue dosage

+      Given during Active labor (3-7cm)

+      Does not alter mom’s consciousness

+       Can relax mom

+       Can help lower blood pressure of a PIH patient with high enough blood platelets

–         Goal of 80% relief, not 100%

–         Completely immobilizes

–         Not administered promptly: same anesthesiologist for entire hospital

–         Chance of longer second stage/ More difficult to push

–         Mom chance of hypotension (drop in blood pressure)

–         Mom chance of itching in face, neck and throat

–         Mom chance of nausea, vomiting

–         Spinal headache healed by patching hole with mom’s blood

–         Postpartum headache/backache

–         Uncontrollable shivering

–         Uneven, incomplete or failed pain relief

–         Loss of perineal sensation: inability to push: increase cesarean chance

–         Mom need catheter

–         Mom chance of fever




Narcotic info:

+         Given IV in Active labor (3-7cm)

+         Increases pain tolerance (doesn’t eliminate pain, but takes “edge off”)

+         Can be given ASAP

–         Barbiturate derivative: anticonvulsive and hypnotic properties  (“I feel drunk or something.”)

–         Wears off/ ACCLIMATION, need for increased dosage

–         Can either increase or decrease labor (unpredictable),

–         Can cause mom vomiting

–         Can still feel highest peak of intensity, just not building up or let down


__I would like the use of a mirror to see the baby crowning (know that your baby’s diagnosis may increase the chances of a face-first presentation)

__I would like photography

__I would like to be reminded and encouraged to gently touch baby’s head while crowning (you should discuss this with your OB prior to labor)

__forceps, vacuum or episiotomy may assist in final delivery of baby

__Umbilical cord may be cut by doctor *Can be cut “long” so that dad may “trim” it later.




After the Birth

__*Have the photo you brought placed with your baby.

__*Ask if baby can be swaddled in the blankets you brought.

__*Decide if you would like to delay or forfeit all standard medical support after your baby is born and focus on bonding and time together, or if you would like standard medical support for newborns, including Erythromycin in her eyes, Vitamin K injection, bulb suctioning of her nose and mouth to clear the airways, and APGARs.

__*Decide if you want your baby weighed and measured.

__*Decide if you would prefer life saving medical support, including positive pressure ventilation, intubation or chest compressions, or if the focus should be on comfort.

__*Decide if you want pain medication administered to your baby in the event he or she is in pain.

__*Ask how long your baby can remain with you.

__*Ask if you can give your baby a bath.

__*Ask if your labor room or your postpartum room can be in a quiet location on the floor, where you have less of a chance of hearing other babies, or if you can be transferred to a different floor in the hospital.  Transferring to a different floor means that you will not have maternity-specific care, however.

__*If your baby has hair, ask for scissors to cut a lock off.

__*Utilize all of the special plans you have, including saving mementos, holding your baby, capturing baby’s smell with a blanket you will take home with you, dressing your baby, naming your baby, taking photographs, and including a pastor and friends and family.  See the “Professionals/Volunteers” link at stillbirthday.com for additional services to consider.

__Have someone planning on spending the night with you. Perhaps consider having a friend spend the night with you, so that your husband can go home, prepare the house, and rest.

__You will still have lochia (the remaining blood from inside the uterus, which will be shed for the next 4-6 weeks).

__*You will have breastmilk come in immediately after the birth.  You can choose to pump and donate your milk, or go through the process of drying.  Drying your milk supply can be done more quickly by drinking sage tea, taking a decongestant, and/or applying frozen or chilled cabbage leaves in your bra (until the soften and warm, and then change out).  Expedited weaning takes about a week to complete.  Some studies indicate that there may be a link between compounded postpartum depression and early weaning.  Additional information regarding post loss lactation can be found at stillbirthday, from the same page as this birth plan.

__*Mentally prepare for going home. The first few days at home can be very difficult.

__Watch for signs of postpartum depression (PPD) or secondary vaginitus.

__Remember to pray and ask others for help and for prayer.

__Be easy on yourself, your body, and on your recovery.

__Stay connected to your spiritual support system, your husband, and trusted mentors and friends about all of your feelings.

__*Visit stillbirthday.com for “Farewell Celebrations” and for “Long Term Support” resources.


*are specific to stillbirth

More Information about Birth Planning: https://stillbirthday.com/2011/07/26/birth-plan-31-weeks-or-more/



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