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Questions families ask

  • Will my baby suffer?

    It is very common for parents to worry that their child will be in pain or distress. We will ensure your baby is kept comfortable and there are plenty of medications that can help with this. We will also support you to soothe and comfort your baby through non-medical means including holding, singing to your baby and providing gentle touch. Your baby will likely be able to hear your voice and feel your touch. Some parents worry that they will not be ‘strong enough’ to support their baby. Our experienced staff will be there to support you during this difficult time.

    How long will it take for my baby to die?

    Your medical team will try to give you an idea of how long it may take for your baby to die depending on your baby’s medical condition. This will only be an estimate – the actual time may be shorter or longer than you anticipate.

    What does death look like?

    Most of the time death is very peaceful. You will notice that your baby will have a number of physical changes. Your baby will become progressively cooler to touch. Their skin may become pale, mottled or even appear bluish in colour. Your baby’s breathing rate will become slower and often more irregular. Sometimes your baby may appear to gasp. Although this may appear distressing to you it will not be distressing to your baby. Your care team will discuss in more details what to expect and provide a plan of how your baby’s symptoms will be managed to ensure your baby’s comfort.

    What will happen after my baby dies?

    In most cases you will be able to spend as much time as you like with your baby after he or she has died. You should take your time to say your goodbyes. Sometime families may wish to take their baby home with them. A special cot can be loaned to families to assist this process. Please speak to a staff member if you are interested in this possibility.

    Many families worry about the practical considerations including arranging a funeral. Our Social Workers can explain the processes involved and can also make referrals for bereavement care.