CONWAY, Ark. (Oct. 20, 2012) - Conway Regional's Perinatal Bereavement Program offers a personal, long-term approach to serving those whose lives have touched by the tragic loss of an infant during early pregnancy, stillbirth or during the the first few months after birth.
Tricia O'Connor and her husband, Rob, lost a child in 2005 and helped establish the Perinatal Bereavement Program at Conway Regional.
"It's extremely difficult for friends and family, as well as professional caregivers, to know what to say and do to comfort couples who have lost children," said O'Connor.
Services include support from conception through the first few months after the infant is born. A full-time bereavement coordinator develops a plan to serve the needs of each family.
Providing bereavement support is more than just the role of one person, so the obstetrics staff in Women's Center has been trained in techniques that are designed to help parents through the grieving process.
The first step is to talk to the family and determine the best way to remember their loved one. Memory boxes, photos, poems, pieces of clothing, baby blankets, a baby ring that parents can wear around their necks, handprints, footprints, a lock of hair and numerous other keepsakes help establish those memories.
Help in planning the memorial service is also available as well as graveside support during this difficult time.
Tricia O'Connor, Kitchen Store manager, and Jeanne Smyers, owner, will host a fundraising event for the Perinatal Bereavement Program on Thursday, Oct. 25 from 7-9 p.m. All money spent at the store during the event will go to support the program.
(Source: Conway Regional Medical Center)