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For Families in Hospital

If you are here because you are facing the imminent stillbirth of your baby, we are so sorry. Facing the labour and delivery of a baby who has passed away can feel frightening and impossible – this is not a topic covered in the baby books or in prenatal classes.

When your baby arrives, your time with them is limited. Below are important considerations and acts that parents can participate in to create memory-making rituals with their baby. You can say yes or no to any of these options. This is your baby, and you have the right to choose how you will create meaning and memories around their birth.

Local supports that you can request:

  • Memory/comfort box

    At the Victoria General Hospital, you can request the support of the Perinatal Loss Health Navigator. This is a midwife who is trained and skilled in perinatal grief and loss who can walk alongside you on this journey. They can assist you and your family by providing bedside support in the hospital and connecting you with local resources and support once you are discharged home.

  • A volunteer photographer is available for you on-call through Island Health. This is a free service. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is an option for free retouching and editing of photos as well.
  • A Memory/Comfort Box
  • Hand and footprints of your baby
  • A gown from BC Angel Dresses 

Support from fellow families in Healing Hearts Peer Support Group, a local Facebook group facilitated by Pacific Perinatal Foundation, or a Bereavement/Infant and Pregnancy Loss Doula

Time Away From Work After the Loss of Your Baby

“After a loss it can be incredibly challenging for parents to access resources that support their ability to cope and grieve, which include employment leave entitlements. Struggling to understand eligibility requirements and requesting time away from work during the early days of an acute grief reaction can be extremely difficult.” – PAIL Network​

If your pregnancy ends before 20 weeks, you may receive sickness benefits or medical benefits. If your pregnancy ends after 20 weeks, you may receive  parental leave benefits. Learn more here.

If you have an extended health benefits plan through your employer or your partner’s employer, check to see if any further benefits are covered. Parents may be eligible for time off (with or without pay) based on their employer’s policies, which may include sick time, short-term disability (STD), and long-term disability (LTD). Employers might also decide to provide parents with time off due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances, which may not be fully represented within their existing policies.

Parents are encouraged to contact their HR representative or a Social Worker to help them explore these options.