Perinatal Palliative Care

When parents choose to continue a pregnancy after their baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition

A family has learned that their baby’s life may be much shorter than planned.  Meriter Hospital offers a service called Perinatal Palliative Care that can help make the most of the time with the baby.

A special team can provide care during the pregnancy, at the birth and after.  These professionals will discuss options and be available for questions or concerns whenever it is needed. 

The team may include:

  • Pregnancy provider (doctor or midwife)
  • Perinatologist (High risk pregnancy doctor)
  • Neonatologist (High risk newborn doctor)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (Nurse specially trained in palliative care)
  • Genetic Counselor (Specialist in Perinatal genetics)
  • Nurses who care for patients in the hospital or clinic
  • Chaplain
  • Social Worker
  • Others you may choose

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative (PAL-ee-ya-tiv) care is comfort care.  Before it was discovered that the baby’s life may be short, there were plans for before, during, and after the baby’s birth.  We can help make the time with the baby meaningful, during the pregnancy and after, in a way that is best for the family.

During the pregnancy

Families will have the opportunity to meet with many members of the Perinatal Palliative Care Team.  They will be able to provide ongoing support and guidance throughout the pregnancy. 

Care Planning:

With the family and providers, we will help write a birth plan to guide staff and providers during the pregnancy, labor and delivery and for the baby after birth. 

Baby’s care 

The care team will help create a plan that focuses on the baby’s comfort and well-being.  The parents will have the opportunity to meet with a neonatologist before birth to make plans for the baby.  We will help families do what is important for them. 

Going Home

If parents are able to take the baby home, the care team will help figure out how to do that.  The team will make sure you have the resources and information needed to help you. 

Contact information:

Center for Perinatal Care – 608-417-6667

Sara Babcock, RNC, MS
Clinical Nurse Specialist High Risk Obstetrics

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