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Bringing Your Child Home for Funeral Care

Hugs at Home Logo

Bringing Your Child Home for Funeral Care

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Losing a baby to stillbirth or having a child diagnosed with a life-limiting illness in which they will die shortly after birth, robs parents of much anticipated moments like leaving the hospital with their baby in their arms, bringing their child to their own home, and sharing special moments like rocking in a favorite chair and bonding as a family.

It wasn’t that long ago that it was common for all families to care for their departed in their own home.

Indeed, it was the norm until the last quarter of the 19th century when the funeral industry launched.  In fact, many cultures around the world still do. It is common in Ireland, New Zealand,  and Holland. The Amish community surrounding the Pittsburgh area typically have their funeral services at home. 

It can be very traumatic for a funeral director to come and take your baby or to send your child to the hospital morgue. It may not feel natural to entrust the care of your precious child to a stranger. Grieving parents often feel like they need more time and privacy to say goodbye to their baby gone too soon. We offer a gentle transition from the moment of loss to saying your final goodbye.

Hugs at Home will guide you through the process of bringing your deceased child home from the hospital.

Knowing you are going to miss a lifetime of experiences with your child, having extra time to revel in the beauty of your creation without feeling rushed, creates an opportunity for special moments together, surrounded by family and friends.

Setting your own pace, rather than having the hospital or funeral home set the pace, allows parents a sense of control, which can reduce the trauma of letting go. Parents can feel competent and in control, instead of the helplessness often arises when a child dies.  These hugs and cuddles shared in the intimacy of your familiar surroundings, forever leave their presence known to your home.

Child loss can be a sudden event that puts you in a state of shock. This extra time ensures that the physical time you have left spending with your child isn't just a hazy memory but memories of loving and caring.

Even after a death, parents’ desire to be with their baby is a natural expression of their devotion. As a result, spending time with their child can offer a number of therapeutic benefits:
  • Expressing their love in the tangible ways that parents do naturally, such as admiring the body and its adorable features, noticing family resemblances, bathing, dressing, and sleeping with their little one, Parents get the profound satisfaction of immersing themselves in protecting, nurturing, and tending to their baby at home.
  • Receiving friends and family into their home to integrate their child into their community, hosting a celebration of life, and taking their baby outside to feel closer to the natural world are all healing acts that were common years ago. These rituals allow parents the opportunity to claim their role as parents and nurture their parental identity.
  • Cultivating shared memories with loved ones allows people to meet your child and be witness to their existence; it also helps create a support system for grieving parents.

~Creating ritual eases our grieving and  strengthens our relationships with one another.~

Why should I bring my baby home?

Parents are the most appropriate caregivers for their own child.  Knowing you are going to miss a lifetime of experiences with your child, having extra time to revel in the beauty of your creation without feeling rushed, creates an opportunity for special moments together, surrounded by family and friends.

Setting your own pace, rather than having the hospital or funeral home set the pace, allows parents a sense of control, which can reduce the trauma of letting go. Parents can feel competent and in control, instead of the helplessness often arises when a child dies.  These hugs and cuddles shared in the intimacy of your familiar surroundings, forever leave their presence known to your home.

Child loss can be a sudden event that puts you in a state of shock. This extra time ensures that the physical time you have left spending with your child isn't just a hazy memory but memories of loving and caring.

Hugs at Home will:
  • Coordinate discharge with the hospital and assist with all the required paperwork.
  • Arrange cremation/burial or facilitate services with your family’s funeral home/cemetery.
  • Transport your child to your home or supply a car seat for you to do so.
  • Supply a bassinet or casket to use at home at parents' request
  • Provide required cooling.
  • Facilitate memory making with family artwork and photography.
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Turn of the century funeral care

FAQs

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More Info

More information is provided on the Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas website including resources.  for burial and final goodbyes.

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Nova spent four days at home with her family.
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Videos

Photo Albums

Click here to see how a local Pittsburgh family chose a home funeral to celebrate their child.