Each day, hour, and even minute, a member of your community experiences a loss of a baby. Sadly, most areas are greatly lacking the support and assistance these parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends need in dealing with their heartache. Forever Footprints is working each day to fill that gap. Through our various programs, we strive to connect these hurting families to support that will offer them understanding and aid as they navigate through the journey ahead of them.
The Balancing Life & Loss: Parenting After Loss Group is a free support group that addresses the needs of bereaved parents who, after a tragic loss, need to continue living and parenting their surviving children.
The Coping With Loss: Helping Families With The Loss Of A Child Through Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Early Infancy Group is a free support group for bereaved parents and families who have experienced the loss of a child and need a place to help process their experience and be able to heal.
Our Education and Support Book Program allows us to donate books to families and hospitals. We offer several books specifically for mothers, fathers, grandparents and children or siblings.
The Journey to Remember Program is a perinatal comfort care program created to provide a safe and nurturing environment for families who wish to carry to term despite a life-limiting or fatal diagnosis. We provide sensitive care facilitated by a labor and delivery nurse trained in bereavement with personal experience in perinatal loss during the pregnancy, delivery, and follow up bereavement support for the years to come.
The Memory Box Program allows us to donate memory boxes to families and hospitals. The boxes are used as a home for keepsakes and photos for anyone who has experienced a pregnancy or infant loss.
Our Remembrance Basket Program allows us to donate Moses baskets to funeral homes and hospitals. The baskets are used by hospitals so they have a loving way to transport these special babies with dignity and grace. The baskets are also used for families who want to spend time with their baby and for photographs.
Our Sibling to Remember Program helps big brothers and sisters trying to grasp the loss of their new baby. Through a package personalized to best fit the loss and offer age-appropriate activities and guidance, the gift is intended to assist the child/children in understanding their own grief, that of their families, and the sudden changes in their family dynamics.
Ten years ago we were given the news that our firstborn son had Alobar Holoprosencephaly. As my husband and I sat in a dark ultrasound room, the doctor explained to us that our baby had no brain and would not survive. He scribbled the long diagnosis on a piece of paper, and told us to follow up with our regular OB. The days and weeks that followed are painful and a blur. We had so many questions—and no answers. We desperately needed support—and there was none. We needed someone to help us navigate this heart-breaking time—yet we were alone.
Joseph was born on July 8, 2004. We got to hold our son for the short time he lived. And then we had to say goodbye.
I cofounded Forever Footprints, formerly OC Walk to Remember, after Joseph’s death. And there has been so much support given to families who have faced a pregnancy loss or infant death. But in the past ten years, I’ve also met many families like me who were given the news that their unborn baby had a life-threatening or life-limiting condition, and more support was needed.
The Board of Directors of Forever Footprints committed to create support for families who receive such a diagnosis. It began with a meeting one year ago with UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Within six months a framework was in place, and the Paloma Comfort Care program was born. The program helps such families on their journey from pregnancy to birth, and after birth in the Labor and Delivery Unit, Post-Partum Unit or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It promotes a nurturing environment for families by providing emotional, physical and spiritual care. The hospital works with parents in family conferences to understand their needs, hopes and goals for their infant, and to help them make difficult decisions. They are dedicated to family-centered care that honors parental preferences for their baby.
The Paloma Comfort Care materials: brochure, plate for the door so medical staff recognizes a patient instantly, and the card families carry so all medical staff know of their circumstance at all times.
We are so proud of this partnership between Forever Footprints and UC Irvine Medical Center. The program has already served seven families at the time of diagnosis and thirty-three families within the hospital. The program will continue to grow and expand, and we are honored to be a part of it.
While the path of each family will be different, we support families who have to make heartbreaking decisions about their pregnancy and child. These perinatal comfort care programs are needed in every hospital. No family should be alone after the news that their much-wanted baby will die in pregnancy or at birth. We hope to expand our partnerships to every hospital in Orange County and beyond in the coming years.
For more information about the Paloma Comfort Care program, click here.
For more information on the Perinatal Comfort Care Program at St. Joseph Hospital, which is supported by Forever Footprints, click here.
If you are in need of support after a terminal diagnosis, medical termination, or death of your baby, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in making a donation to help fund perinatal comfort care programs or you would like to volunteer with our efforts, please contact me at email@example.com or Ryan Farnsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charity Vasquez, Paloma Comfort Care, and Kristyn von Rotz, Forever Footprints Cofounder/Board of Directors
Join us for an educational conference for health professionals working in the Neonatal ICU, Perinatal Care and Pediatrics.
Attendees will learn more about the importance of communicating and collaborating as a team when working with families experiencing a loss of a pregnancy, baby or child.
- Taking the collaborative approach
- Community resources
- Music Therapy
- Self Care
- Emotional outcomes of loss
- A panel discussion with a patient family
This conference is open to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, social workers, case managers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, child life specialists and chaplains.
- DATE: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
- TIME: Registration from 7 to 7:45 a.m., conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- LOCATION: UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 53 Main Auditorium 101 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868
- PARKING: Parking is included in the registration fee for non-UC Irvine employees. UC Irvine employees may use their regular parking permits. Non-UC Irvine employees will receive parking information two weeks prior to the conference.
- The conference includes 7 hours of CEU and lunch.
- For more information, contact Massiel Luizaga at 714-456-3935 or email@example.com.
*Click here to fill out the Registration Form for 2014 Palliative Care Conference