How To Dispose Of Pregnancy Remains After Loss Or Termination
If you sadly find yourself in the situation where your pregnancy has either ended in a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, we know how difficult this time will be for you and appreciate that you may have already had to make some very difficult discussions as to how to manage your loss, either naturally, through medication or surgery.
As difficult as it may be, you should also try to set some time aside to decide how you want to care for the remains of your pregnancy if you’ve lost a baby before 20 weeks. But do remember that there’s no pressure at all to make this kind of decision immediately – and it’s likely that there will be a delay from the time of your loss until cremation or burial, as tests may need to be performed which can take up to eight weeks depending on the nature of the tests.
While waiting for results, you and your family may decide that you’d like to have a blessing as soon as you’re ready to help you gain a level of closure while the investigations are being conducted.
Cremation and burial are always available as options for the disposal of pregnancy remains, whether or not there is any discernible foetal tissue. Pregnancy remains can be cremated and the majority of crematoria will provide this as a service. Be aware, however, that ashes may not always be recovered if it’s an individual cremation.
You may also decide that you’d like to make your own arrangements to dispose of your pregnancy remains. The hospital in question will be able to offer you any advice or assistance – but make sure you obtain written confirmation that you’re entitled to take the remains away to make your own arrangements.
According to the Miscarriage Association, if a baby dies before 24 weeks of pregnancy, there is no legal requirement to have a cremation or a burial. You can carry out your own burial at home, even if you miscarry in hospital. It might be a good idea to speak to someone at the Association if you are confused or aren’t sure what to do – an expert outside perspective may really help you get through this very difficult time.
Any babies born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy are considered stillbirths and will need to be registered as such. Under common law, stillborn babies will need to be either buried or cremated. The legal duty to make funeral arrangements after a neonatal death or stillbirth lies with parents but it can be done by the hospital or other establishment on their behalf if they consent to this.
With regards to stillbirths, it’s considered good practice for hospitals to offer to arrange burial or cremation and contribute to the costs. If parents agree to this, they should be given the chance to attend the ceremony.
For help with funeral announcements, get in touch with us today.
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