What is Perinatal Hospice?
Perinatal hospice offers another way to look at a life-limiting diagnosis in the womb. It gives parents the option to continue their pregnancy, cherishing whatever time they are given with their baby. It is referred to as “hospice in the womb”, which includes birth planning and support after baby’s birth until the baby’s death, and beyond.
While many medical professionals do not offer perinatal hospice to families with a fatal diagnosis, and instead give termination as the likely option in cases of a fatal or life-limiting diagnosis in pregnancy, studies show that merely offering these services to families raises the number of those who continue pregnancies with a fatal diagnosis from just 20% to 75%. We are passionate about making sure that parents know they have options. When we have had the opportunity to speak to mothers carrying a baby with a life-limiting diagnosis, we hear relief in their voices as we help them form a plan that fits their needs, and share available resources most parents are unaware of. Hope replaces some of the hopelessness, as parents are empowered to make decisions on behalf of their baby and family. It doesn’t take away the agony of the impending loss, but there is a sweet gift in giving your baby and yourself, the opportunity to embrace his life, no matter how brief. We want parents to know, they are not walking this path alone.
You can read more information about Perinatal Hospice, please visit: perinatalhospice.org
Who does your ministry serve?
Our ministry exists to serve parents who have lost a baby, whether the baby was lost by miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or ectopic pregnancy. It does not matter the gestational stage or age of your baby when they died. We are here to offer support, comfort, and memory making materials.
Do you charge for your services?
We never ask for bereaved parents to pay for any services we offer. Perinatal hospice, doula support, bereavement items, and photography are all free for parents who have lost a baby no matter what gestational stage or age the baby was lost.
Do you only offer your services to families who are of the Christian faith?
We are a Christian organization, however we do not discriminate against those of other faiths. We have served families from various backgrounds, which include families who are of various faiths, and families who are atheist. Our Dreams of You memory book does contain spiritual references and scriptures, but the book can be tailored to fit any faith, as pages can be removed and added as needed. We do not make adaptations to the book, but families are welcome to customize it as they see fit.
Do you provide perinatal hospice for families outside of Northwest Ohio?
Yes, we can provide online and phone support to those families who are carrying to term and are outside of our local area. We can help with a birth plan and help find other resources in your area. Dreams of You products are available for families worldwide. Please email email@example.com if you want to use our perinatal hospice, both online and local.
Do you provide services for families at abortion clinics?
No, we do not offer our in-person bereavement support services for families who have chosen to use an abortion clinic. We only offer our services for those families whose babies’ lives are expected to be brief, and who choose to deliver at home or in a hospital. Online bereavement support is available if requested.
How far along do I have to be to be able to use your services?
We offer services for any gestational age.
We have memory books and bears available for early losses and later losses. Our early loss package is up to 20 weeks. Our later loss package is 20 weeks and beyond. At one time we only offered the Dreams of You memory book and Comfort Bear for everyone, but with the numerous requests for earlier losses we have chosen to develop a smaller book and bear package that is more suited for capturing memories of a little one, and more cost-effective for us while families still received quality materials. This enables us to be able to minister to more families.
Our in-person bereavement services are available for any gestational age. We want families to be supported whether they experience miscarriage or infant loss. Photography services will be offered from 16 weeks gestation and up unless a family with an earlier loss specifically requests photos. In this case, we will accommodate their request as we do not want a family who would benefit from having photos to miss out. Gowns and swaddle blankets are also available from 12 weeks gestation and up.
Do you provide bereavement support in person for emergent situations, when loss is unexpected?
Yes. We will have trained volunteers on-call 24 hours a day, and participating hospitals, doctors, or individuals can call us in the case of an unexpected loss. We can still offer memory-making materials, provide bereavement doula support if desired, take photographs of the baby and family, even if we haven’t met prior to make a birth plan.
How do I become a volunteer for Sufficient Grace Ministries?
If you are interested in becoming a birth and bereavement doula or a remembrance photographer, there must first be a division of Sufficient Grace Ministries in your area. Once the ministry is established in your region with a Regional Coordinator in charge, you can then look into becoming an SGM perinatal loss support doula and an SGM remembrance photographer .
There are training opportunities for those living outside of the state of Ohio. If you would like to bring the SGM Perinatal Loss Support Training to your area or if you’re interested in becoming an SGM Affiliate, click to find out more.
If you are interested in becoming a crafter of baby items, there is no special training required. You can email the ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest. We have many baby items that can be made if you have experience with crocheting, knitting, or sewing. We also have other items that can be made without any of the previous experience mentioned. We do ask that patterns and tutorials be kept within the ministry and that you provide your own supplies, if possible. There is a special required list of materials to make Comfort Bears. For questions about making Comfort Bears, you can contact Tracey directly at: email@example.com. For questions about crocheted items or making memory bracelets, contact Marlene at: firstname.lastname@example.org.