Women's Health

Pregnancy & Birth

Neonatal Comfort Care Program

Overview

No matter how brief, each baby's life is precious and needs to be welcomed and cherished. The NewYork-Presbyterian Neonatal Comfort Care Program (NCCP) is a service designed to make babies with life-limiting conditions or terminal illnesses as comfortable as possible. Our expert and compassionate multidisciplinary team provides support and guidance to families from diagnosis through birth and beyond by creating a unique medical plan that follows the natural course of each baby’s life. We understand how challenging this time is for families, and we are there to provide support and guidance during this journey.

About Our Program

The NCCP, 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 plan of care to provide a comfortable and loving environment to your infant, without the intent of shortening or prolonging his or her natural life.

Our Approach to Care

Comfort of the Baby is at the Center of Care

At NewYork-Presbyterian’s NCCP, the comfort of the baby is at the center of our care. We also understand that families facing their babies’ life-limiting diagnoses are shocked, frightened and confused; they need and deserve a great deal of support during and after the pregnancy.

Family-Centered Care

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. Through our programs and services, we create a safe space for the family to build memories, bond, cope and feel supported while keeping the baby comfortable.

Interdisciplinary Support

The NCCP 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, emotional and traumatic time. All members of our staff are trained in providing all comfort care measures, emotional support, and helping to facilitate legacy building.

The members of the NCCP team include:

  • A clinical care coordinator - who will meet with you to explain the program's services to ensure your baby's comfort and support your family.
  • The medical director/neonatologist - who will meet with you to discuss your baby's condition and plan of care after delivery. They will also facilitate the discussion regarding the management of your pregnancy and delivery plan 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, lactation consultants.

Continuity of Care

From the moment of diagnosis through birth and beyond, the baby, mother 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.

Services

The Neonatal Comfort Care Program offers the following comprehensive services for patients and families:

  • Prenatal counseling to discuss your baby's future and to learn more about medical care after birth, including a comfort care plan, if appropriate, to address his or her needs.
  • A birth plan is created before delivery with the family, incorporating their goals of care, personal preferences, and any cultural or religious needs. 
  • Individualized medical evaluation and plan, including alleviation of pain
  • Comfort care for your baby, including 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. The choice is yours, and our team supports you in helping you make that decision.
  • Memory-making activities, such as handprints + footprints, photographs, and personalized keepsakes
  • Emotional, psychological and spiritual care. The NCCP team’s companionship of each family does not end with the baby’s or mother’s discharge from the hospital. We follow mothers and fathers 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.

Why Choose Us

Nationally Ranked in Neonatology

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 collaborate 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 acknowledgement of their child as unique and precious, and the opportunity to celebrate their baby’s life, are invaluable to our families.