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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Four Years After My Losses: A Personal Message From Sarah Garvey

This week, the blog is going to be more personal than usual. While each post I write comes from the deeply personal place that shares in your pain as parents, or the place that has been a friend or family member supporting a grieving parent, or the place that has been a patient and cared deeply for her medical professionals, I do not often talk about my own story on this blog. This week, I cannot imagine sharing anything with you other than my own words about my own losses and what this experience is like for my family now.

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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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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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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 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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