A note from one of our staff members. Most of us never have to think about such things. I hope it does not get you too upset:
"A small group of providers here performs above-and-beyond assistance to families that is little-known but beyond value. When a pregnancy fails and a baby dies in utero or is delivered stillborn here, clinical providers (MD's, nurses, social workers) strive to recognize the loss with the family, and to help them create mementoes of their baby. Almost always, the mementos that are most cherished by parents and famililes are photos of their infant. Our Media Services department staff go to Labor and Delivery and to the morgue to take professional quality black and white photos of these infants. Their skill, caring and attention to detail result in images that are often beautiful, despite the loss of life and occasional disfigurement, and are treasured by the bereaved families.
"When a family requests to see an infant after he or she has been transferred to the morgue, Pathology staff members locate and prepare the baby for viewing by the family. This is not a task listed in their job descriptions, and making this available to families means putting aside other pressing work, but they understand the importance of this last good-bye to some family members.
"Even for those providers whose clinical duties include exposure to neonatal death with some regularity, work with bereaved parents of infants is wrenching. Preparing the babies means handling them, and an inevitable confrontation with the tragedy of their deaths. These special efforts of the Media Services and Pathology staff are an extraordinary example of BIDMC employees giving of themselves for the benefit of our patients. "