How To Tell Family And Friends About A Prenatal Diagnosis

After receiving a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, you will be navigating information, decisions, grief, and the inevitable experience of telling your family and friends about the diagnosis and prognosis. The idea of sharing this news and devastating reality with your network of family and friends may seem daunting, and you may not feel fully emotionally prepared for the process.

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Prenatal Counseling: Supporting Parents Following a Prenatal Diagnosis

According to a systematic review of prenatal counseling for congenital anomalies, parents who receive prenatal counseling from a knowledgeable medical professional following a prenatal diagnosis exhibit less anxiety, increased recall of the diagnosis, and a better understanding of the prognosis. 

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Grandparents Day: Acknowledging Grieving Grandparents

Grandparents feel the impact of a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition intensely. Grandparents face a unique and profound grief that starts the moment they learn of their grandchild's diagnosis, and like the parents, they grieve for the baby and the life he or she will never have. However, grandparents also have the compounded grief that comes with watching their own child suffer an unimaginable loss.

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Perinatal Mental Health And the Carrying To Term process

Parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition are at an increased risk for perinatal mental health complications. The anticipatory grief and anxiety experienced following the diagnosis and throughout pregnancy continuation are risk factors for mood disorders in the antepartum and postpartum periods for both mothers and fathers.

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Children's Grief

The grief children experience following the death of a loved one is often overlooked. There is a common misconception that children cannot process death or that they need to be protected from the realities of death and the grief that follows. The desire to protect children from this experience actually isolates them, and they become disenfranchised or overlooked grievers.

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Agency and Voice: How To Advocate well

Agency is the ability or capacity a person has to act within a given environment or set of circumstances. That ability or capacity is completely unique and personal to each individual, and every person has control over their own agency. However, it is important to recognize that a person's perception of their own agency is often determined or affected by the environment or set of circumstances they are experiencing.

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Pregnancy After Loss: A Friend and Relative's Guide

Friends and relatives, you play an important role in the lives of grieving parents. You helped lessen a parent's isolation by being listening ears and shoulders to cry on. You have brought meals, run errands, helped with children, and navigated life's logistics with your grieving friend or relative. These acts of support have been invaluable during their pregnancy and loss.

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Pregnancy After Loss: A Parent's Guide

After experiencing a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition and the loss of your precious baby, the idea of another pregnancy can bring a mix of emotions. Whether you are just beginning to consider expanding your family or you are currently walking through a pregnancy, we are here to help you navigate the complexities and unique needs of pregnancy after loss.

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Pregnancy After Loss: A Doctor's Guide

For families who have experienced the loss of a child to a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, pregnancy can never be the same. As different as this new pregnancy may be, the two pregnancies are intertwined. The experience they had before of receiving a diagnosis, carrying that pregnancy to term, delivering their child, and then saying goodbye to that baby affects everything.

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How to Include Dads in Pregnancy and Childbirth

As medical professionals supporting a family who has chosen to continue a pregnancy despite a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, your primary patient is the mother. Her needs- both physical and emotional- are the primary focus during pregnancy and childbirth, followed by the needs of the baby. Though the father is not the patient, he is an important part of a family's carrying to term experience.

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A Father's Insight: Andy Schoonover

For the month of June, I have the beautiful privilege and opportunity to dedicate this blog to the experiences and grief of fathers who walk the carrying to term and infant loss journey. I have had the true and humbling chance to witness the achingly beautiful, powerful, and gut-wrenching affects infant loss has on husbands and fathers. I have a profound respect for the men I have seen rise up in the face of unbelievable suffering and tragedy.

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