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Birth Preferences Planning

If you have been given the bad news but have not yet delivered your baby, you may have some time to begin to prepare for what is to come. 

Instead of rushing off to have your baby, take some breaths and think about getting some help and advice.  A little time and preparation can go a long way to help you gain some control back.   Baby Loss Doulas, knowledgeable companions, or even well-trained nurses can offer to help talk you through the steps ahead including the decisions and choices that will soon be asked of you.  Unless you have learned from personal or professional experience, you may be clueless about how to answer the questions and make choices you are about to face.  This makes sense; where would you have learned such things?  Yet, it is vital that you go about this carefully.

You may wonder why it is important to make thoughtful decisions as you prepare for the birth of your baby.  The labor and delivery and the hello and goodbye time, which can go by so quickly, is the time you have with this precious little one.  With help, you can make these moments into mountains and special memories. These memories then are a key to your healing; they become the foundation for your future healing. You can do them poorly and suffer lifelong regrets or with help from others, you can build a solid foundation minimizing regrets and maximizing memories.  Some of the steps in creating your personal Birth Preferences Plan, or a Birth Vision, can include:

  •        Reading materials such as the first 25 pages of our book Empty Arms
  •        Talking with a Baby Loss Doula or trained companion/staff member
  •        Writing down or having these helpers write down your wishes in as many areas as possible.  This could include: who will be notified and how, who will be with you to meet, hold, and take pictures with your baby, how to include any siblings, how long to keep the baby in mom's room-which usually can be the entire time she is there if you wish, how to meet your personal, cultural, religious desires/beliefs, what the baby will wear, who will hand him or her to the funeral director - it could be you, whether you will take your baby home for awhile before burial or cremation, and so much more
  •        Getting your Birth Preferences Plan to the hospital ahead of time (keep a copy in your hospital bag; it seems that such paperwork is often easily lost).  This helps all who are involved to get a feel of the vision that you want which can then be a general guide with the expectation that you all stay flexible as things unfold

Our trained and certified Baby Loss Doulas ™ are well-prepared and can be of assistance no matter where you live.  They help many parents like you over the phone when it can’t be done in person.   Visit the site and look under Locate a Loss Doula.