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Perinatal Palliative Care

When your developing baby is facing a life-changing, life-threatening or life-limiting illness while in the womb, Yale New Haven Hospital’s Perinatal Palliative Care program is here to support you, your baby and your family. Our team respects the decisions you make for your baby’s care.

What is Perinatal Palliative Care

Perinatal palliative care strives to enhance the quality of life through compassionate, culturally sensitive and individualized care. Our team of experts works with you to help you and your family prepare for your baby’s serious or life-limiting condition. Together, we develop a plan to support your wishes and to celebrate the life of your child.

Your family will receive palliative care beginning with your baby’s medical diagnosis and will continue throughout your pregnancy, delivery and postnatal period. These services are provided at no additional cost and may occur in all care areas including potentially your home. It is never too late to receive palliative care.

Perinatal Palliative Care Support Team and Services

  • Care coordinators provide ongoing care coordination and help guide next steps.
  • Case managers provide transition assistance to homebased care, in conjunction with community partners.
  • Childbirth educator offers complementary, individualized childbirth education for first-time parents.
  • Child-life specialists help guide conversations with your other children about your baby’s medical concerns.
  • Family support specialist offers families individual and group support during a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stay.
  • Genetic counselors provide education, support and guidance about genetic testing options and test results.
  • Lactation specialists support breastfeeding needs.
  • Music therapists help manage stress and promote emotional and physical well-being.
  • Interfaith and faith-specific chaplains provide services for spiritual support.
  • Obstetric, pediatric, and neonatal providers offer expertise in fetal and neonatal diagnosis, treatment and palliative consultation.
  • Social workers provide mental health counseling, resource support and community referrals.
  • Ultrasound sonographers help you create memories through photos and heartbeat recordings during your scheduled ultrasounds.

Bereavement Services

Additional specialized bereavement support may include:

  • Neonatal comfort management
  • End of life and celebration of life planning
  • Extensive legacy building, memory making, photographs, footprints, keepsakes
  • Alicia’s Angels Family Care Room, a homelike space within the NICU for families to spend precious time with their baby
  • Referrals to support services
  • Resources for burial/cremation, funeral and memorial services
  • Continued support available to families following discharge
  • Evening of Remembrance
  • Referrals to community-based mental health counseling and therapy