Noah’s Children serves parents whose unborn child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition such as anencephaly, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, severe cardiac deformities, severe brain anomalies, renal agenesis and more.
Perinatal palliative care, an emerging concept, has resulted in a decrease in the number of parents choosing to end a pregnancy. The process integrates hospice and palliative care principles that attend to the medical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs, which can bring an optimized quality of life for the newborn and the family.
With a prenatal diagnosis, Noah’s Children can help parents plan advanced care before delivery to ensure that clinicians can provide a palliative care approach, whether an infant lives hours, days, or more. Our staff:
- Educates parents on the probable/possible outcomes
- Empowers parents, fosters hope, relieves fear, and addresses guilt
- Explains possibilities and options
- Develops a realistic birth plan and works to ensure that the parents’ wishes are honored during labor and delivery
- Provides anticipatory grief support
- Assists with memory making, such arranging photographs, handprints, and other mementos
- Accompanies parents to doctors’ appointments to support them and help reinforce their wishes to the doctors
- Develops plans for bringing the baby home after birth with support from the hospice and palliative care interdisciplinary team
- Serves as the liaison between the parent and the hospital’s labor and delivery staff
- Available to attend the birth to support the parents and hospital staff
- Helps collaborate to provide spiritual rituals such as Baptism
- Provides bereavement support, for up to three years after the death of the infant
Above all, we listen to what parents want and support their decisions. Palliative care for an infant with a lethal anomaly can be comforting, meaningful, and is an ethically acceptable provision of life-extending endeavors.