Deciding how to handle such a tragic event can be very burdensome. We hope that this will be a valuable source of information about a topic that is seldom discussed.
St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa offers the parent(s) of any type of fetal loss — spontaneous miscarriage, D & C following fetal demise, or a loss within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy – the option of leaving the fetal remains in the care of the hospital. Those remains are cremated and buried in a special plot at Calvary Cemetery in Clearwater, which the cemetery has generously provided for this purpose. There is no cost to parents for this service, and the family need not be Catholic to participate. For late-term losses (over 20 weeks), parents may have a funeral home take the remains and arrange for a burial on their own. If the parents give no instructions, the fetal remains are included in the hospital’s next cremation and burial.
All parents who suffer a miscarriage, fetal demise, NICU death, etc. are invited to the hospital’s annual fall memorial service. On average, 600-700 former patients receive this invitation.
St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital offers information and referral to several bereavement support programs to parents who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or newborn:
St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital Bereavement Support Services — 813-872-2930
AMEND (Aiding a Mother Experiencing Neonatal Death) — 813-631-9519
Lifepath Hospice — 813-877-2200.