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Forum staff report, Published January 19 2013

Fargo hospitals offer similar infant bereavement programs, support

FARGO – Area hospitals offer similar bereavement programs for parents experiencing infant loss.

Sanford Health’s program includes spiritual support through chaplaincy, referrals to support groups, partnerships with funeral homes and more, according to Andrea Dinneen, a spokeswoman for Sanford.

Parents receive books, informational materials and other bereavement items like a memory box, hand and feet molds, and when appropriate, a photography session through “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”

Dinneen said that in 2011, Sanford Health’s PICU, Pediatrics, NICU and Family Birth Center in Fargo had 47 cases.

Essentia Health’s Caring Hearts Perinatal Program helps parents who know their baby won’t survive. Caring Hearts provides parents with physical and emotional support, helps them establish a birth plan, arrange funeral services and arrange photos through “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” said Pauline Savageau, a registered nurse in Essentia’s birthing center staff.

According to Savageau, since the Caring Hearts Perinatal Program’s inception in 2010, they’ve had six cases.