Perinatal ComfortCare


My doctor said my baby’s diagnosis is “incompatible with life.” Continue the pregnancy. Terminate the pregnancy. I’m confused and overwhelmed. How do I decide?

First of all, stop, take a deep breath and remember; you do not have to make a decision today. It is important to make an informed decision based on knowledge, not emotion.

A hasty decision to terminate the pregnancy may bring a lifetime of regret. How you feel today is not how you will feel tomorrow or next week. Educate yourself about your baby’s diagnosis. Ask questions. Learn about support options that are available and discuss your options with those whose advice you can trust.

What is Perinatal ComfortCare?

Perinatal ComfortCare is an approach to care that utilizes the philosophies of hospice and palliative care to provide compassionate support, hope, and practical guidance to families who choose to continue a pregnancy despite the news of a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis. Supportive care is provided by a registered nurse, with experience in Obstetrics, who can offer the family much needed guidance as well as a compassionate caring presence.

Isn’t it better for me emotionally to terminate the pregnancy at the time of diagnosis and try again?

There is no medical research that backs up the idea that it is more emotionally or psychologically healthy for the mother to terminate a pregnancy with a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis. Instead, research reveals just the opposite. Families who choose to terminate a pregnancy for a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and complicated grieving even years after the event (Kersting 2004). However, families who chose to continue the pregnancy despite the diagnosis report “no regrets” and a great sense of peace in knowing they celebrated every moment of their baby’s life, no matter how brief (Calhoun 2010) (Horning, Braun 2006).

How do I find hope in this devastating situation?

It has been said that hope is grief’s best music. There is always hope. Hope for a live birth and time to spend with your baby. Hope for making a lifetime of family memories. Watch the family videos and read the blogs of those families who have taken this journey and you will see how their hope grows and shapes their entire experience.

Could my baby’s diagnosis be wrong?

Prenatal testing, although advanced, is not perfect, but misdiagnosis of a lethal prenatal condition is rare. There are two types of prenatal tests. Screening tests, which might include a blood test or an ultrasound. An abnormal screening test would mean that you may need further diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests, which might include a more invasive procedure, such as an amniocentesis, can be offered to provide you with more information and possibly a definitive diagnosis. Prenatal screening and diagnostic testing is a choice and is not required to receive prenatal care.

How can I get help?

You can contact Perinatal ComfortCare for assistance.

How can I support the work of Perinatal ComfortCare?

Perinatal ComfortCare is a 501c3, non-profit organization. Donations can be made through our secure website. Gifts can also be given, “in honor” or “in memory of” for those who choose to memorialize their baby’s memory.

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