Perinatal Bereavement Services

Perinatal Bereavement

At St. Joseph Hospital, we provide compassionate care to families who experience a death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy and continued support to bereaved families through their reproductive and parenting experience.

The death of a baby is among the most devastating losses a family can experience. At St. Joseph Hospital, Resolve Through Sharing trained professionals provide support, education, resources, and referrals to aid bereaved families on their journey to healing. While families are in the hospital, we encourage them to find meaningful ways to bond with their baby. We provide education on the grieving process and encourage families to explore strategies for self care through the “Resolve through Sharing” model. A Master’s Level Social Worker provides continued follow-up to families for a least one year after discharge, if desired and makes referrals to appropriate community resources as needed.

With the increasing demand for therapy, waitlists for therapeutic services are growing. St. Joseph Hospital recognizes that gap, and has partnered with the YMCA to provide in person support groups hosted by two licensed social workers. The goal of these groups is to provide healing and empowerment.

Topics of Discussion

  • Support based conversations after a loved one
  • Ways to remember your loved one
  • Different coping techniques
  • When to recognize warning signs that require more medical attention
  • Self care including relaxation technique and different forms of exercise

Additional Information

This Grief Support Group is open to the general public. You do not need a YMCA membership to attend, and there is no registration required. It will be held in the well-being rom at the following dates and times:

October

  • Saturday, 10/8/22 from 10:00am to 11:00am
  • Wednesday, 10/12/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • Wednesday, 10/26/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

November

  • Saturday, 11/12/22 from 10:00am to 11:00am
  • Wednesday, 11/16/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • Wednesday, 11/23/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

December

  • Saturday, 12/10/22 from 10:00am to 11:00am
  • Wednesday, 12/14/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • Wednesday, 12/28/22 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

For more information, contact:

Nicole Snow, RN, Care Transitions Coordinator
(603) 884-3206
nsnow@sjhnh.org

Shannon Osterhoudt, LCSW, MSW, Lead Outpatient Social Worker
sosterhoudt@covh.org

www.CompassionateFriends.org

The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family existing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. They offer online support as well as private Facebook Groups.

www.NationalShare.org

SHARE is a non-profit organization providing support for bereaved parents including moderated chat rooms, message boards, resources for planning materials, links to other websites, and booklets for support.

www.TearsFoundation.org

The TEARS Foundation offers free support groups for bereaved families who have experienced death of their baby. We also have trained “Peer Companions” available to talk over the phone or meet with you. A Peer Companion is a bereaved parent or family member who has also lost a baby, has at least 2 years through their grief process, and has completed the TEARS training. The TEARS Foundation offers online support as well as monthly in-person support groups.

Ornament Ceremony

Held in December, the Ornament Ceremony is the annual memorial service for babies who have passed away. Families can bring an ornament to hang on the tree in honor of their baby. Some families choose to come yearly, as it is a special way to remember their babies during the holiday season.

Nicholas’ Books & Bears

As an employee of St. Joseph Hospital, Nicholas’ mother wanted to find a way to help other families who experienced a loss like she and her husband did when their son, Nicholas, was stillborn in 2019. They found that reading books to him in Heaven and having a special stuffed animal just for him helped with the healing process. They created Nicholas’ Books and Bears as a way to honor Nicholas’ memory. When parents experience the loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy, Nicholas’ Books and Bears provides them with keepsake items including a book for families to read to their baby, a stuffed animal to hold, and a note of encouragement from Nicholas’ mom.

Cremation and Burial

Free cremation and/or low cost burial services may be available to all St. Joseph patients who experience the death of a baby at any point during pregnancy or the death of an infant after birth. Some families still choose to cremate their baby’s remains and keep them in their houses, bury them with a relative, or scatter them at a meaningful site. Other families prefer to have their baby’s body buried at a cemetery with their preferred funeral home. Please contact a Bereavement Team Member at the time of your loss to discuss further services that may be available.

Infant Memorial Garden

Located within the baby section at Edgewood Cemetery in Nashua, the Infant Memorial Garden is available to families whose babies have passed away. The remains of the babies are cremated and then buried within individual containers at this site. Annually in May, a memorial service is held. This option is provided free of charge in collaboration with Davis Funeral Home in Nashua.

Nicole Snow, RN, Care Transitions Coordinator

Care Transition Nurse - Case Management

Shannon Osterhoudt, MSW, RTS Certified

High Risk Social Worker - Case Management

Eric Leader, MSW, RTS Certified

High Risk Social Worker - Case Management

Katherine Buckley, RTS Certified

High Risk Social Worker - Case Management

603-882-3000
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