Things You Should Know Before Leaving the Hospital:
Take Your Time
- There is no limit on how much time you can spend with your baby. You can hold, bathe and dress your baby as much as you’d like. Some people also choose to read their baby books, change their diapers, and sing to their baby. There is no limit on how much time you can spend with your baby so do not feel pressure from anyone to do anything but take your time with your child.
- You May Take Pictures of Your Baby and Ask the Hospital for a Memory Box . The hospital should offer you a memory box which includes photos of your baby, a lock of your baby’s hair, a hand and footprint, and other items, but you may want your own pictures.
Judaism Has Very Few Definitive Laws Around Stillbirth
- Different people have different religious customs with regard to things like burial, sitting shiva, and autopsy. Consider which religious or community figurehead you may want to speak to. We have partners across every denomination, so please do not hesitate to ask for an introduction.
Things You May Want to Do
- Touch Base with the Appropriate People: Consider which family and friends should be with you at the hospital and when you return home. Do not feel obligated to spend time with anyone who might make you feel uncomfortable.
- Switch Rooms: You may want to be away from the maternity ward. If so, ask the hospital for a room on a different floor.
- Consider Speaking with the Hospital Chaplain or Rabbi: Things you may want to discuss with your rabbi include: Preparation for burial (most burials of stillborn babies are handled by the Chevra Kadisha), circumcision (if a boy), autopsy, genetic testing, naming.
- Complete a death certificate: This part just sucks.