This page is intended to provide information and support following a pregnancy loss. For information about the death of an adult visit Grief Support Following the Death of a Loved One on UofMHealth.org. For information about the death of a child, visit Grief Support Upon the Death of a Child on MottChildren.org.
Final Arrangements Planning
Please accept our most sincere condolences on the loss of your pregnancy. We hope the following information is helpful to you as you make decisions in the days ahead.
Families choose final arrangements following the loss of a pregnancy in many different ways and families vary widely in how they experience pregnancy loss. For some it is the death of a son or daughter and the loss of a future. For others, it may solely be the loss of a pregnancy. It could feel like something in between. There is no single path for families to follow and we want to support your family’s preferences as we are able. While we need to follow legal and hospital procedures, our goal is to be as supportive as possible with the choices you feel are most right for you.
The following are options to consider for final arrangements following a pregnancy loss. Please know that at times there are limitations to what options are available given the gestational age of the pregnancy and how the loss occurred. We understand that it may be difficult to make these decisions. Our medical and social work staff and our Women’s and Children’s Bereavement Program are available to help answer any questions you may have.
Choices for Arranging for Burial or Cremation
You and your family have options to consider.
Some families who choose to be present may recite a poem, read a spiritual piece or say some loving words. Some families also choose to leave mementos at the burial site. Families are not able to select the location as burial plots are pre-arranged. Burials can occur with or without family present and a temporary marker is placed at the burial site. While there is no charge for the burial, some families choose to have a permanent marker, which is a cost to the family arranged directly with the cemetery.
If a baby was non-live born, arrangements can be made for a direct burial from the hospital without having to work through a funeral home. If a baby was live born, a funeral home must be involved.
For additional information on things to think about when deciding on arrangements, visit our Remembering Your Pregnancy page.
The Office of Decedent Affairs (ODA) is part of the Michigan Medicine Department of Social Work. The ODA is the centralized point of contact at Michigan Medicine for ongoing questions and concerns before, during, and after the death of a loved one. The Children’s and Women’s Bereavement Program is part of ODA.