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, trained Master’s Level Social Workers and nurses 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.

This free support group was created in memory of Nicholas, a beautiful baby boy who was stillborn. Through the generous donations of his family and continued support to families who have experienced loss, the Nicholas Memorial Infant Loss Parent Support Group was created. This group seeks to create and promote a welcoming environment for mothers and fathers who are experiencing the loss of a baby to share their experiences in a supportive environment to foster healing. This group will be a safe environment facilitated with “Resolve Through Sharing Bereavement Training” (RTS) by individuals who hold Masters of Social Work. This is a place to share feelings, worries, and stress.

This free support group is held on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Mothers and fathers are both encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact:

Tammy Smith, Patient Experience Coordinator
(603) 884-3850

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.

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.

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 are available to all families who experience the death of a baby at any point during pregnancy or the death of an infant after birth. Some families choose to cremate their baby’s remains and keep them in their homes, bury them with a relative, or scatter them at a meaningful site.

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.

Infant Remembrance Circle

Located at St. Francis Cemetery in Nashua, the St. Joseph Hospital Infant Remembrance Circle is a burial ground for babies who have passed away. Several times a year, the remains of babies are buried in a common grave but within individual containers. This service is provided free of charge and in collaboration with Anctil-Rochette and Son Funeral Home and St. Louis Parish in Nashua. If parents who deliver at St. Joseph Hospital do not make their own arrangements for cremation, burial, or decline the Infant Memorial Garden, their baby’s remains will be buried at this site.

Tammy Smith

Patient Experience Manager

Shannon Osterhoudt, MSW, RTS Certified

High Risk Social Worker - Case Management

Eric Leader, MSW, RTS Certified

High Risk Social Worker - Case Management

Nicole Snow, LPN, RTS Certified

Care Transition Nurse - Case Management

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