About the Perinatal Bereavement Program
The perinatal bereavement program at The Mount Sinai Hospital is committed to supporting the needs of families following a pregnancy loss at any gestational age, or the loss of a child. We provide education and support from the moment of diagnosis through the grieving process in a manner that respects each family's cultural values and religious beliefs. Our services are available to families who have had a loss that occurred within the Mount Sinai Health System or in the wider community.
Pregnancy is a time of hopes and dreams. Parents imagine what the birth experience will be like, who the baby will look like and how s/he will fit into the family. When a desired pregnancy ends in loss, many couples feel afraid, isolated, angry, confused, disappointed and sad. There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of your baby, and men and women will tend to grieve differently. Children may also have different reactions to loss depending on their age and developmental stage.
Our perinatal bereavement program offers comprehensive counseling and support for families experiencing losses at any stage of pregnancy, as well as those experiencing neonatal loss. We offer different modalities and hope that you will find the best fit for you and your family. Many couples find help and hope by attending a support group, and meeting with others grieving similar losses. Some find that working with a therapist one-on-one, or as a couple, helps to provide a framework for understanding their grief and moving forward.
This program is supported in part by the Rex Larsen Weinstein Perinatal Bereavement Counseling fund and by donations from additional individuals and families. The Rex Larsen Weinstein Perinatal Bereavement Counseling Fund was originally funded and continues to be funded in part by Gregg and Stacey Weinstein in loving memory of their son. In 2014, The Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Board generously provided a one-year continuation and expansion grant to enable us to reach an expanded population of grieving families throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. Through the use of distance technologies and social media, we invite a larger population to participate in our programs both on site and online.
Our services are free of charge and include:
- Individual, couple and family support and counseling
- Parental guidance to help siblings of all ages cope with loss
- Education and guidance regarding the grieving process and skills building to develop healthy coping strategies
- Support groups in English and in Spanish for women and/or couples dealing with stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death
- Support groups for women and/or couples who have terminated a wanted pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis
- Community based referrals for mental health and other supports
- Facilitation of meaningful rituals sensitive to families' spiritual, cultural and religious beliefs
- Annual service for families to remember and honor children lost during pregnancy and childhood
- Mother's Day service to honor mothers who have lost children
For couples who are prevented by distance or personal schedule from attending our programs, phone-based counseling with a social worker/bereavement counselor may be arranged between the hours of nine and five; individual needs are also taken into account. Additionally, new technologies are in process which will allow greater accessibility to our services.
Referrals are accepted from patients, families and health care providers at any time following a loss. If you would like more information or would like to participate in any of our programs, please contact Laurie Chameides, LCSW at 212 241 4685 or email.