Experiencing the loss of a baby at any time is devastating. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss and can affect anyone. Infant loss that occurs between 14 to 20 weeks is often referred to as IntraUterine Fetal Demise (IUFD), and is typically diagnosed during an office visit when the doctor is unable to detect your baby's heartbeat.
Parents experiencing an infant loss during these gestational weeks will undergo the labor process to deliver their baby. Labor will need to be induced (medications given) and delivery will follow. Our nurses and staff will encourage you to see, hold, and name your baby. Creating memories is very important through photographs, footprints, handprints, etc. Depending on where you deliver, the hospital may create these for you. If not, we encourage you to advocate for yourselves and create your own memories.
Whatever the circumstances, or type of miscarriage, you are still experiencing the loss of your baby and have many unanswered questions that may include:
- Why us?
- What can I do to get through this awful pain?
- How long does the grief last?
- Am I "going crazy" or is what I'm feeling "normal" for someone who is grieving?
At the St.Vincent Center for Perinatal Loss our staff is prepared to help answer your questions while providing the support and guidance you need in a comforting, healing environment.
In the majority of states, babies who are not born alive and under 20 weeks gestation are handled like medical waste and hospitals dispose of the remains as they would tumors or gallstones. In Indiana, this is not the case. Indiana law states that babies who are not born alive and under 20 weeks gestation are considered "medical tissue" and therefore the parents are given options.
At St.Vincent Women's Hospital, if you choose, your baby will be kept in our Pathology Department, transported to a local funeral home, cremated, and kept in a common urn for our annual graveside service – all free of charge. Families who experience their loss at home can bring their baby to our lab (located on the first floor of St.Vincent Women's Hospital) and similar arrangements will be made – all free of charge. Alternatively, families also have the option of making their own funeral service arrangements using a licensed funeral home of their choice.
Please call the Center for Perinatal Loss at (317) 415-7494 for more information.