Rising Hope – When parents welcome a new life but must say goodbye at the same time
Learning that an unborn baby has a condition that might result in a very early death is devastating. But some mothers and fathers make the decision to continue their pregnancy and parent their infant for as long as he or she lives.
Rising Hope Perinatal Hospice Program grew out of Howard County General Hospital’s Perinatal Bereavement program to offer physical, emotional and spiritual support as well as a range of other important services to parents who have made this decision. Mary Peroutka, founder of Rising Hope, said the program emphasizes the quality of life and tries to help parents find comfort and meaning in whatever time they may have with their baby.
Compassionate listening is the most important goal of the program – to help parents understand that they are not alone and will not be abandoned during this difficult time. Rising hope uses a multi-disciplinary team approach that includes obstetricians, perinatologists, labor and delivery nurses, neonatologists, NICU staff, chaplains and pastors, social workers, genetic counselors, therapists and traditional hospice professionals. Services include assistance in creating a plan of care and birth plan, resources for spiritual and religious support, creating memories using photographs and mementos, arranging home hospice care, and support groups for parents after their babies have passed away.