This is basic information to help you have some understanding of what to expect from medical and legal representatives from the duration of your delivery to the burial of your baby.
If you have just had a homebirth and delivered a stillborn unexpectedly, please click the link to be taken to a different article. That same article will also provide you with information if you are considering planning a homebirth in a known stillbirth situation.
If you are anticipating delivering a stillborn, you may have a few delivery options:
Delivering a stillborn in the hospital:
When you are admitted to the hospital, the nurse may start your labor off in triage or in a labor room, depending on your hospital. Some basic admitting paperwork may need to be filled out, and your birth plan should be presented.
After the birth, if the hospital has a bereavement team, they will visit you. They may offer you some counseling resources or bereavement information. A chaplain may visit you, if you wish. As part of the bereavement support services, your hospital may have a police officer visit you and just check up on your personal safety at home. That might seem offensive, but if they do, just consider it a blessing that your care is being considered.
Every hospital has different policies, but all will try to work with your requests and offer you as compassionate care as they possibly can.
Depending on factors involved in your unique situation, you may be discharged from the hospital later that day, or the following day.
In most cases, your baby will not be able to leave with you when you are discharged, but will remain at the hospital until a representative from your selected funeral home comes to the hospital to transport your baby back to the funeral home.
If you have older children, and you are planning on having them stay with relatives during this time, this packing list may help you sort through the things they will need.
The delivery option links at the top of this article will help you navigate many more personal and special choices to help make this difficult time more meaningful and more validating to you.