Perinatal Palliative Care

The Perinatal Palliative Care Program, housed within the Chicago Institute for Fetal Health (CIFH), offers support for families who have received a fetal diagnosis that is potentially life-threatening or life-limiting. Palliative care supports medical decision-making regarding outcomes of pregnancy, pursuit of fetal therapy, development and coordination of complex birth plans, and longitudinal support through complex ICU stays or perinatal loss.

The focus of our care is to provide the best quality of life regardless of circumstances. We strive to help families understand the fetal diagnosis and all available care pathways while respecting each family's goals and values. We hope to come to know each family and to understand their unique characteristics (sources of support, hopes/worries, coping strategies, and communication style) in order to help navigate the journey ahead.

Approach to Care

We provide palliative care services to our patient-families through:

  • Priority for consultation referrals, with telemedicine visits available
  • Discussion of your baby's condition
  • Discussion of care options available
  • Assistance with medical decision-making
  • Care coordination during pregnancy, delivery, and in the neonatal period for both mother and baby
  • Help with developing a birth plan
  • Support at our community hospitals (to families and teams)
  • Family support during prolonged hospitalization or bereavement

Our Team

The Perinatal Palliative Care Program partners with several multidisciplinary teams to ensure that all the needs of both baby and family are met. These include:


Jessica T. Fry, MD

Attending Physician, Neonatology

Natalia Henner, MD

Interim Division Head, Palliative Care; Attending Physician, Neonatology

Grace Knowles, APRN-NP, CPNP-PC, CHPPN

Perinatal and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care

Contact Us

To place a referral, please call The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health at 1.866.338.2524 

To speak with a perinatal palliative care team member, please call 312.227.1263