NICU Farewell

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This article serves as a way of providing support that is an extension of the following resources:

 

In regard to being counseled on removing life support, you may consider:

Hospital, general considerations:

  • What the hospital policy is regarding cessation of life support.
  • What the hospital policy is regarding any possibility of neonatal hospice/at-home farewell care.
  • What staff may be there (if you’ve grown to have a favorite staff).
  • What days have typically seemed to be more busy or less busy in the NICU.
  • What estimated duration the staff foresee of the transition of life without medical support, and how they will support you during this time, or during a shortened or lengthened time in this transition.
  • Incorporating an SBD doula to help guide with keepsake making and offering follow up support resources.

Keepsakes:

  • Are there any keepsakes you’d like to make on this important day or during this important time?
  • Ink prints, including onto a calendar or into a special book like a Bible, mold prints.
  • Photos that may or may not be cropped or altered later to show with and without medical equipment.
  • Items that have touched baby during the NICU.
  • You can bring large storage bags (ziplock) to hold items and also to seal in the smell.

Heartbeat:

  • You might include any of the many monitoring that has been such a part of your baby’s life after birth:
  • The Birth Planning page has heartbeat keepsake ideas, such as “Soundwave Necklaces” and “Heartbeat Bears”

Bonding:

  • Does hospital policy change or lift for cessation of life support?  This might include a change of policy for a sibling child or extra family member to also be present.
  • Does the hospital provide a bonding room during this time?
  • Would you like to provide skin to skin during this time?
  • How does the family communicate with hospital staff in the bonding room?

How To:

Donation Decisions:

Spiritual Inclusion:

  • Who would you like present or what ritual would you like involved?

The Farewell

  • Your SBD doula can walk with you as you leave the hospital.
  • Have a plan for your drive.  Can someone you love meet you in the parking lot to drive for you?
  • Have a plan for the rest of the day that is within what both parents are comfortable with.  Don’t arrange a big gathering of people if both parents aren’t in agreement to that decision, and don’t limit the other parents support.
  • Invite your loved ones to visit our guidance for them so that they can help support you well, including bringing meals and other support.

 

 

 

 

 

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