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advance care plan, anticipatory guidance, bereavement, grief, palliative care, perinatal care



  1. Bennett, Joann DO, FACOI
  2. Dutcher, Janet DNP, NNP-BC
  3. Snyders, Michele MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW


ABSTRACT: Anticipatory grief is experienced by families who are informed that their unborn child may not survive in utero or during or after delivery. The child who survives delivery, but is critically ill, brings a combination of emotions to the family: joy in welcoming a new life and fear for the future. The healthcare team members caring for the patient and family often witness this grief and are impacted. In the perinatal setting, the care continuum for these patients begins at diagnosis, typically in the prenatal setting, and continued support extends beyond the presumed life expectancy of the child. This case study is provided to demonstrate the utilization of a palliative care interdisciplinary approach to meeting the complex bereavement needs of a family who was expecting a child with a life-impacting congenital condition.