The Perinatal Bereavement Program at UMass Memorial is nationally recognized as a model support service for bereaved families.
At the time of perinatal loss, families receive support from a multidisciplinary team of professionals including physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains. A complimentary bereavement package is available for families. It includes a memory book, information on grief and loss, and special mementos such as footprints, a lock of hair and a name bracelet. In addition, the family receives a professional photo of the baby. Follow-up services include telephone support and monthly support group meetings.
A memorial service is held each October during National Perinatal Loss Month. The service provides a vehicle for families and staff to process their grief and, for many, it is an opportunity for some closure. The service consists of readings, music, prayer and announcement of each child's name. Parents receive momentos such as candles tied with a ribbon with the baby's name on it, scroll cards with the baby's name displayed for the service, and a memorial service program with copies of readings and lyrics to music. A reception follows.