If you are reading this, you may have learned that your baby will be born with, or has developed, medical problems that we do not have medicines or treatments for. Or perhaps your baby has problems that are not getting better even though we have tried many different medicines or treatments. Sometimes in these cases, doctors and families together may choose to provide a different kind of medical care: one that focuses on comfort rather than cure.
We offer this information to provide hope, help, and direction. We want you to know we are here for you and your family during this difficult time.
What is comfort care?
- Comfort care means providing medicines and treatments that keep your baby comfortable and peaceful, and stopping treatments that are not helping your baby get better or may even be causing your baby pain.
- Comfort care is tailored to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of your baby and family. It may look different for each patient, and that is okay.
What does comfort care offer?
- Discussions with members of the medical team to make sure you understand your baby’s medical problems, and what those problems mean for his or her immediate and long-term future
- Help in making medical decisions that are right for your baby and family
- Medications for relief of symptoms such as pain, anxiety, or irritability
- Comforting interventions, such as kangaroo care, nesting, and warmth
- Oxygen and feeding, if they help keep your baby comfortable
- Limiting lab draws or other painful procedures
- Creating memories, including photography, footprints and handprints, locks of hair, baptism or christening, or other spiritual experience
- Support to help with the feelings of grief
What are my choices?
- Continuation of medical interventions and treatments that will help keep your baby comfortable
- No additional medical interventions in the event your baby becomes sicker
- No CPR if your baby’s heart stops
- No breathing tube, if your baby cannot breathe on his or her own
- Withdrawal of life-sustaining measures
- Removal of a breathing tube and mechanical ventilation
- Removal of medications to support blood pressure
Who can I talk to for more information?
- Social worker
- Chaplain or ethical services