NICU Farewell

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.


  • 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.


  • 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”


  • 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.







Domestic Violence increases in pregnancy, leading to infant & maternal death.     [Path to Safety]      [Learn More]      [Quickly Exit to a Weather Channel]