The Role of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, and How They Can Help

Carrying To Term was fortunate enough to have the chance to talk with Ellie Dalsheimer, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse, about the role NICU nurses in the care of families facing a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition. Not every family facing such a diagnosis will experience the NICU, but for the families who do, NICU nurses play a pivotal role in supporting, empowering, and informing these parents.

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Neonatal Donation FAQ with IIAM

Carrying To Term was fortunate enough to have the chance to talk with the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM) about their Neonatal Donor Program and the role they play in supporting families who are considering or have chosen neonatal organ and tissue donation as a part of their child’s legacy.

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The Role of a Bereavement Doula, and How They Can Help

Carrying To Term was fortunate enough to have the chance to talk with Laura Ricketts, a birth and bereavement doula, about the importance of bereavement doulas, both for families and as contributors to a care team. After navigating personal experiences with loss, Laura turned her pain into purpose and began to serve other grieving families as a doula.

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The Role of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and How They Can Help

Carrying To Term was fortunate enough to have the chance to talk with Elaine Cavazos, a Licensed Clinic Social Worker, about the importance of social workers, both for families and as contributors to a care team. Elaine has dedicated her career to serving families who are navigating the worst experiences of their life, and her insight, compassion, and dedication shine through her words.

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Life-Limiting: Understanding the Terminology

When navigating a prenatal diagnosis, whether you are the parent, the provider, or the network of support, clarity is critical for feeling fully informed, equipped, and supported. Carrying To Term believes that clear, compassionate, and easy to understand language has the power to shape how parents process a diagnosis, make fully informed choices, and cope following diagnosis, throughout pregnancy, and in life after loss.

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Informed Choice

Following a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, the decision to carry a pregnancy to term is often accompanied by a range of questions and emotions. The way the diagnosis, pregnancy continuation and pregnancy termination options, and a plan of care are communicated has the power to sway a patient’s decisions and their ability to navigate and grieve their circumstances.

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Prenatal Care

Prenatal care, also referred to as antenatal care, is the health care that a pregnant woman receives from a professional like an obstetrician, midwife, or other specialist such as a perinatologist. Prenatal care includes lifestyle advice such as diet and exercise, weight monitoring, testing, and examinations to prevent and detect problems that affect the health and well-being of mother and baby.

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For Friends and Family: Supporting Parents During the Holiday Season

For parents facing a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition and for parents grieving the loss of their baby, the holiday season can be complicated. Parents may feel a heightened sense of grief as they balance the holidays and the realities of their impending loss or the complicated emotions that come with grieving a baby.

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How to Navigate a Prenatal Diagnosis in a Work Environment

Returning to work after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of a life-limiting condition can be an overwhelming and daunting experience. Though navigating a prenatal diagnosis and pregnancy continuation in a work environment is not the most comfortable experience, I encourage you to lean into the discomfort, anxiety, and unknown that may accompany informing your employer and coworkers about the diagnosis and prognosis.

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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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