About Perinatal Bereavement
Our licensed social workers 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. Our team also provides continued follow-ups to families for at least one year of discharge, if desired, and makes referrals to appropriate community resources.
Grief Support Group
We understand that there is an increasing demand for therapy, and waitlists for therapeutic services are growing. Recognizing that gap, we have partnered with the YMCA of Greater Nashua to provide an in-person Grief Support Group held by two of our licensed social workers.
Held every December, St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire, holds a memorial service for babies who have passed away. Families bring ornaments to hang on a tree in our atrium to honor their loss. Many families choose to come to this event 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 have experienced a loss like she and her husband did when their son, Nicholas, was a stillborn in 2019. They found that reading him books in heaven and having a special stuffed animal just for him, helped with their healing process.
That’s when they decided to create Nicholas’ Books & Bears, as a way to honor Nicholas’ memory. When parents experience the loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy, Nicholas’ Books & Bears provides them with keepsake items including a book to read to their baby, a stuffed animal to hold, and a note of encouragement from Nicholas’ mom.
Free cremation and/or low cost burial services may be available to patients of St. Joseph Hospital who have experienced the death of a baby at any point in pregnancy or after birth. Some families choose to cremate their baby’s remains, keeping them, burying them with a relative, or scattering them at a meaningful site. Other families prefer to have their baby’s body buried at a cemetery. Please contact a member of our Case Management team at the time of your loss to discuss further services that may be available.
Located within the baby section at Edgewood Cemetery in Nashua, New Hampshire, is the Infant Memorial Garden. 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, New Hampshire.
For more information on Perinatal Bereavement Services, or any additional services that we offer, please contact Shannon Osterhoudt, Supervisor of High Risk Social Work, at firstname.lastname@example.org.