The NewYork-Presbyterian Neonatal Comfort Care Program is a neonatal palliative care service designed to make babies with life-limiting conditions or terminal illnesses as comfortable as possible. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary team of experts is here to support families from diagnosis through birth and beyond by creating a unique medical plan that follows the natural course of each baby's life.
The Neonatal Comfort Care Program, provided at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital, is available to you when there are no medical and surgical treatments available to help your baby recover. We offer a newborn care plan to provide a comfortable and loving environment for your infant.
Our Approach to Care
At NewYork-Presbyterian's Neonatal Comfort Care Program, your baby's comfort is at the center of our care. We also understand that families facing their babies' life-limiting diagnoses may feel shocked, frightened, confused, and need a great deal of support during and after the pregnancy.
Our goal is to provide family-centered care to meet the unique needs of the patient and family. We are constantly assessing the needs of the patient and family as they evolve throughout their stay. We create a safe space for the family to build memories, bond, cope, and feel supported through our programs and services while keeping the baby comfortable.
Continuity of care
From the moment of diagnosis through birth and beyond, the baby, parents, and family are embraced and accompanied on their perinatal journey by a compassionate and dedicated interdisciplinary team. The same physician and team members provide continuity of care to the baby and family throughout each step of the journey.
The Neonatal Comfort Care Program provides an interdisciplinary approach that is flexible and focused on life, allowing for support and compassionate healing for families. Our team is comprised of many disciplines dedicated to meeting patients' and families' needs during this difficult time. All staff members are trained in providing comfort care measures, emotional support, and helping to facilitate legacy building.
The members of the Neonatal Comfort Care Program team include:
- A clinical care coordinator will meet with you to explain the program's services to ensure your baby's comfort and support for your family
- The medical director/neonatologist will meet with you to discuss your baby's condition and plan of care after delivery. They will also facilitate the discussion regarding your pregnancy and delivery plan management with your obstetrician.
- A social worker will meet with you to let you know about available resources to help you celebrate your baby's life and collect memories. The social worker will also help coordinate your preferences while in the hospital and help connect you with community resources.
- A child life specialist will meet with you to provide support to your baby and your family, including sibling support and memory-making
- Pastoral care is available to meet with you to provide spiritual and emotional support for you and your family
- Other team members include nurses, occupational and physical therapists, music therapists, occupational/physical therapists, speech pathologists, and lactation consultants
Comprehensive Neonatal Services
The Neonatal Comfort Care Program offers the following comprehensive services for patients and families:
Prenatal counseling is available to discuss your baby's future and to learn more about medical care after birth. This includes a comfort care plan, if appropriate, to address his or her needs.
A birth plan
Parents and healthcare professionals will discuss birth preferences before delivery, incorporating their goals of care, personal preferences, and any cultural or religious needs.
Individualized medical evaluation and plan
The medical evaluation and plan aim to help alleviate any pain a mother may experience.
Comfort care for your baby
This may include bonding, warmth, nutrition and hydration, and relief of any pain or discomfort. You can choose to have your baby room-in with you while you are in the postpartum unit and then go home with you for hospice care support. Or, if you prefer, your baby can be admitted to the NICU for compassionate care or transferred to a pediatric hospice facility.
Memory-making activities may include handprints + footprints, photographs, and personalized keepsakes
Emotional, psychological and spiritual care
The Neonatal Comfort Care Program team's relationship with each family does not end with the baby's or mother's discharge from the hospital. We follow up with parents by phone for up to a year or more after their loss and offer a monthly bereavement support meeting to families who have experienced perinatal loss.
Our program focuses on perinatal hospice, which offers families the comfort of knowing our professionals are there through every aspect of your pregnancy. Parents are given the opportunity to bond and form a loving relationship with their baby while our perinatal palliative care team provides the most advanced medical treatments to address pain and maximize a newborn's quality of life.
Neonatal palliative care vs. perinatal hospice
When parents are faced with the news that a newborn may not be expected to survive very long, NewYork-Presbyterian's Neonatal Comfort Care Program is available for either perinatal hospice or neonatal palliative care.
- Perinatal hospice is a way of caring for the unborn child and their family. This care goes through pregnancy, birth, and death of the baby. Parents are introduced to bereavement groups with people who share similar pain and sorrow.
- Perinatal palliative care involves medical treatments designed to improve the baby's life and reduce pain and discomfort.
Why Choose Us
U.S. News & World Report has ranked NewYork-Presbyterian the top-ranked neonatology program in New York, reflecting our reputation and excellent outcomes, the expertise of our physicians, our high volume of cases, and other data related to patient care. Our team of expert neonatologists collaborates with medical subspecialists from a wide range of disciplines to provide the absolute best healthcare plan for your newborn.
Exceptional care for newborns
Our neonatal physicians, specialty physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners have exceptional qualifications and training in the care of newborns. Because many different caregivers are involved in each patient's care, it is essential that all of these caregivers share information among themselves and with parents to work efficiently as a team.
During bedside rounds, the nursery team will discuss your newborn's status, perform your newborn's physical exam, listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide guidance. Every step of the way, you are integrally involved in the decision-making process related to your newborn's care.
Family is an integral part of our team
Our interdisciplinary team works together with each family to develop a plan for prenatal care and delivery and coordinates postpartum care for the infant and their family, including long-term bereavement support and counseling. The acknowledgment of their child as unique and precious, and the opportunity to celebrate their baby's life, are invaluable to our families.