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
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:
In 2023, we will welcome our first perinatal palliative care fellow. The perinatal-track fellowship is the first-of-its-kind ACGME-approved fellowship and seeks to:
Develop physicians who have an interest and/or experience in neonatology to provide outstanding palliative care for fetal and neonatal patients with potentially life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.
Develop training experiences with multidisciplinary clinicians from medical specialists who provide care to this unique patient population
For Clinicians Please call CIFH 1.866.338.2524 to place a referral or 1.227.1263 to speak to a perinatal palliative care team member.