The Riley Hospital for Children Perinatal-Fetal Center at Indiana University Health includes expansive care to help create the smoothest and supportive pregnancy for you while undergoing high risk observation. Family support coordinators are specialized employees who provide extra care to help you and your family adjust to your baby’s hospitalization following birth. These coordinators are unique and vital to our family support, as they have children of their own with special needs and can understand views from a parent perspective. In conjunction with social workers, the family support coordinators help parents and their families walk through hospitalization, procedures, and staff interactions from birth until discharge. Family support coordinators can be reached by calling 944.1528 or you may leave a message on the family support voice mail by calling 1-888-407-0082.
Genetic counselors have specialized training in both genetics and counseling. They help families understand and cope with the news of having or being at risk of having a genetic disease. Additionally, our certified genetic counselors are genetic experts capable of addressing your concerns in a caring, compassionate manner. Given that the questions you may have about your baby’s health can be overwhelming and anxiety-producing, our genetic counselors can serve as a valuable resource for your family.
Lactation consultants are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to help mothers and babies with latching difficulties, painful nursing, low milk production, or inadequate weight gain. A lactation consultant may help women meet their breastfeeding goals and give attention to special circumstances such as returning to work or school. They also are familiar with breastfeeding equipment such as breast pumps and other supplies that are helpful to breastfeeding mothers and infants.
Massage and Music Therapy
Massage promotes relaxation and relieves pain. It can also relieve muscle tension and may improve blood flow, relieve pressure on nerves, and restore normal joint movement. Through music, physical and emotional healing and wellness is gained. A trained and certified music therapist can provide music therapy. Therapy sessions can involve listening to music, music-making, or both. Both of these therapies are available for patients with prolonged hospital stays.
Marriage and Family Therapy
A Clinical Social Worker licensed by the State of Indiana with expertise in relationship and family therapy is on staff. Our Clinical Social Worker has specialized training and experience treating women struggling with post partum depression, and couples dealing with infertility issues, pregnancy loss, and/or a death of a child. In addition, she treats individuals with relationship problems, histories of trauma and abuse, physically disabled, sexual dysfunctions, chronic mental illnesses especially post traumatic stress disorder and recurrent major depression.
Many patients have special dietary needs during pregnancy either as a result of diabetes or excessive nausea and vomiting. Our nutritionists devise individualized meal plans and assure that each patient is receiving appropriate calories and nutrients.
Perinatal loss/Bereavement programs
Indiana University Health Partners, through the Pathways at IU Health program, offers inpatient and outpatient support services for families experiencing the loss of their baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death. We provide care during the prenatal period when needed, and throughout your hospitalization. Services include education, guidance, and compassionate support from specially trained nurses, dedicated to caring for families experiencing the grief that comes with the loss of their child. We provide mementos such as photographs, clothing, and blankets made especially for your baby. After discharge, our grief support services can include follow-up visits with a nurse for up to a year or more following your loss.
In addition for families experiencing the birth of a stillborn baby, “Kate Cares” is an available resource to provide emotional support and to evaluate for a cause of the stillbirth. The Carmichael family whose daughter, Kate, was born still on January 20, 2003 initiated the Kate Carmichael Stillbirth Program or “Kate Cares”. The Carmichael’s together with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Neonatologists, Geneticists, Pathologists, and Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists and bereavement coordinators developed Kate Cares to provide support for families experiencing stillbirth and to evaluate for the cause of stillbirth in order to learn how to prevent it. Currently, testing is offered at Indiana University Health, IU Health Methodist Hospital, and St. Francis Hospitals in Indianapolis. Soon, a statewide program will be offered.
The recommended assessment is outlined below. Test results are reviewed by a panel of Riley at IU Health experts, who evaluate for a cause of death. Referring physicians are provided with a summary letter of the findings and recommendations of the Kate Cares review committee. In addition, Kate Cares personnel can provide consultation for referring physicians or their patients.
The Kate Cares assessment includes:
- Physical exam
- Chromosome studies
- Blood tests of the mother and/or father
- Pregnancy and hospital record review
- Testing of the afterbirth (placenta and umbilical cord)
Additional tests may be recommended under specific situations. Having all of these tests performed will provide the most complete evaluation. However, some families may choose to only have certain tests done. For more information, go to the Kate Cares website (katecares.org).
A physical therapist provides treatment by physical or mechanical means, such as through exercise or heat, and will also provide education, instruction, and support for recovery. Physical therapy can help you regain flexibility or strength if you have been confined to bed for a period of time.
Social workers help you make the best use of our services and provide support to help you and your family cope with extended hospital stays. A social worker is assigned to each family on the day of admission.