Final Arrangements for Your Baby
24 to 48 Hours
In most situations, you will find yourself admitted to the hospital to miscarry or deliver your stillborn baby for a period of 24 to 48 hours. This is an average and can vary — especially if your baby spends time in the NICU or Emergency Department. Ideally, you will be given a few days to plan your baby's final arrangements; unfortunately, this is often not reality.
We know this is very overwhelming and you do not want to be thinking about end of life plans for your baby; however, these decisions cannot be readdressed later. It is vital that you take time now to make final arrangements so that you do not have regrets. Consider asking a close family member or friend help you through this process — someone who can follow through with the details of the arrangements after you have reached a decision.
Cremation allows you to keep your baby’s ashes with you and allows for flexibility in the future. You can choose at a later date to scatter or bury your baby’s ashes in a meaningful place. Almost all funeral homes will cremate a baby at a deeply discounted rate or for free. They will not advertise this. If you have previously dealt with a funeral home that you are comfortable working with again, call them first. If not, ask your nurse for a list of nearby funeral homes. Don’t be discouraged about what you hear from a funeral home. When one doesn’t offer what you need, move on to the next.
To lessen any cost, consider using the bear from your Rachel’s Gift box as an urn. The funeral home can easily cut your bear along its back, place the bag or vial of cremains inside, and stitch it back up. This can also be done with a special stuffed animal you purchased or received as a gift for your baby. There are also sweet, affordable urns from Heaven’s Gain, Artful Ashes, and others. If there is some associated cost you cannot afford, financial assistance is available. Scroll down to Financial Assistance for a list of organizations dedicated to assisting with the cost of cremation, funeral, and burial.
♥ Heaven's Gain
Personalized urns and baby caskets for any gestation, including 1st trimester.
♥ Artful Ashes
Beautiful handmade glass art memorials.
♥ Art From Ashes
Handcrafted glass remembrances.
Certificates & Vital Records
Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth / Certificate of Stillbirth
Certificates can be requested after you have been discharged and your hospital/physician has filed the necessary paperwork. At your request, your State Office of Vital Records can issue you a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" or "Certificate of Stillbirth" to record and memorialize the birth of your stillborn child. Because laws vary by state, so do the certificates available to you. Some states offer certificates for babies less than 20 gestational weeks old. Visit state websites linked below for details and forms.
If your state is not listed, check here for your state's vital records office.