Sunday, August 3, 2008

Perinatal Hospice

Along the lines of pediatric hospice, is perinatal hospice. With the many recent advances in technology, doctors are able to conduct prenatal screenings that are able to detect hundreds of conditions. Parents are then faced with difficult decisions about their unborn children.

Perinatal hospice offers support to parents and their families who are in a situation, which will most likely result in the death of the infant. The need for hospice comes when the parents want to continue the pregnancy and want to meet their child before death occurs. Care begins at the start of diagnosis. Perinatal hospice may include birth planning and health care decisions after the baby is born. Traditional hospice care continues after the birth, even if it is no more than a few minutes or hours, and can take place in the family's home.

One difference that I saw while reading was that bereavement support at one hospice in San Diego was offered for a minimum of 18 months. In many cases, bereavement is offered for only 13 months.

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