Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
You are not alone.
Grief from the loss of a pregnancy or death of a newborn is often hard for family and friends to understand, especially grieving that continues for several months. A pregnancy loss can be one of the most painful and traumatic times that anyone will experience in his or her lifetime. There is no right way to grieve. How parents cope with this loss is very individualized. But no one should have to go through this experience alone.
Should you feel that group support is not helpful, a referral can be made for more specialized attention. If at any time you feel that your grief is too overwhelming and that you cannot cope with your loss, call the Behavioral Health referral and crisis number at 317-621-5700 or toll-free at 800-662-3445. The phone is answered 24 hours a day.
Open Arms extends support to families who experience a pregnancy or newborn loss. This free program offers many different services to help families grieve in a way that meets their specific needs. All Open Arms services are coordinated by a Grief Support Person specifically trained to offer support to grieving parents. They offer help during this difficult time by listening, comforting or providing resources and advice.
For contact and support group information at each hospital, please see locations below.
Open Arms programs are offered at Community Hospitals North, East, South and Anderson.
Sometimes it helps just to talk to someone about your loss, or to get an answer to a question. To talk with a grief support person, please call Open Arms at any time. If you leave a message, your call will be returned at a time that is convenient for you.
In-person support groups have been temporarily paused due to the pandemic. Please contact an Open Arms representative by email or phone if you need support.
Monthly drop-in support groups are offered at Community Hospitals North, South and Anderson. See locations below for details.
For some parents, it is helpful to talk with, or just listen to, others who have gone through the same experience of miscarriage or infant loss. Open Arms support groups offer this opportunity. At the meetings, parents can talk about their feelings and thoughts, their experiences and their hopes. Parents learn that their intense feelings are normal and that other bereaved parents have the same feelings. Some parents may choose to come to one meeting; others may choose to attend many over a period of time throughout the grieving process. And others continue in the group to provide support to the newly bereaved.
St. Vincent Hospital
Location: St. Vincent Carmel Professional Building, Entrance 3, Breast Center Conference Room, 13450 N. Meridian St, Carmel, IN 46032
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Day: 3rd Thursday of every month
Contact: Amy Daly at 317-582-7150
St. Francis Hospital, South Campus
Location: 8111 S. Emerson Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46237, Outpatient Conference Room, 1st floor
Directions: Please park in Zone #2. Enter through door #6 and turn right immediately to find the Outpatient Conference Room.
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Day: 2nd Tuesday of every month (except December)
Contact: Joni Cutshaw at 317-528-2636
- Centering Corporation - Provides a collection of free and low cost books for grieving families.
- Compassionate Friends - Helps families find grief support through their online community.
- Erin’s House - Offers support for children, teens & families who have suffered death of a loved one with community grief support and education.
- Grief Watch - Provides articles, grief facts, newsletters, downloads and helpful links for families.
- Living with Loss - Provides online resources, information and tools for coping with life’s losses.
- The M.I.S.S. Foundation - Offers resources and links to find a certified provider in trauma and grief to families who have experienced the death of a baby or child.
- The National Center for Grieving Children and Families - Provides families grief support programs for adults, children and teens, support groups, and other online resources.
- Neo-Fight - Indianapolis parent support group dedicated to helping families experiencing the perinatal/neonatal crisis.
- SHARE: Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Inc. - Community for anyone experiencing the death of a baby. Provides national support and resources.
- The Sibling Connection - Provides series, articles, and online resources for families who have experienced the death of a sibling.
- Babies Remembered/Wintergreen Press - Provides a list of websites, organizations and online support as well as testimonials and grief support to families.
Burial and Memorial Services
If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, Community Health Network offers burial and funeral services to meet your individual grieving needs. For more information, please contact an Open Arms location, as services may vary.
Throughout the year, memorial services are offered to celebrate and remember those who have been lost.
Burial of Ashes
For babies born deceased at <20 weeks gestation, Community Health Network offers a graveside ceremony and burial of ashes for families wishing to come together to honor their baby's memory during a communal burial.
Services are held at Washington Park East Cemetery in April and October. Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers donates its services of cremation, holding of the ashes, the gravesite and services for the graveside ceremony. There is no charge to families for this service.
Community Hospital Anderson
For families who delivered at Community Hospital Anderson, this service is provided free of charge thru Loose Funeral Home in Anderson with the ashes placed in a Baby Block monument in The Gardens at Willowcrest Park.
For Community North, East and South deliveries, a private funeral is available for babies born at >20 weeks gestation. The nursing staff can assist you and your family in selecting a funeral home for a private burial or cremation to honor and remember your baby. The cost to families for these arrangements may vary.
Community Hospital Anderson
Community Anderson patients have the option of private burial for losses less than 20 weeks, if preferred. We also offer assistance for funeral expenses thru the Benjie Fund if delivered at Community Hospital Anderson.
Community Hospital North
The Christmas Memorial is held on the first Thursday of December in place of the December support group. The service is held early in month so families can remember their baby and not feel guilty about enjoying the season. Families may send in a note, poem or anything they would like to add to the memorial book that is printed to take home.
The service is held at Mount Comfort United Methodist Church. A candlelight memorial, music, singing and an ornament to take home are all part of the service. We also have goodie bags for the kids to keep them busy during the service. A time for fellowship with other families over refreshments follows the service before we go home. Our hope is to create a time of remembrance for your family.
Community Hospital South
The Christmas Memorial is held in early December. Please join us with your family for this time of remembrance.
Community Hospital East
Patients of Community East are invited to attend the Community North and Community South memorials. Please choose which location and date works best for you.
Community Hospital Anderson
Community Anderson offers an annual Christmas memorial service in December, held at Loose Funeral Home. A candlelight memorial, music, singing and an ornament to take home are all part of the service. A time for fellowship with other families over refreshments follows the service before we go home.
Walk to Remember
St. Francis, Beech Grove
Location: Central Elementary School, 1000 Main Street, Beech Grove, IN 46107
Held annually in October, the Walk to Remember is a time when families from all over Indianapolis come together to remember and celebrate the life of their baby that has died. Some families may have recently lost a baby. Other families have been coming on this special day for years.
There are no reservations needed for the walk. All your family and friends are welcome to come. Dress is casual – whatever is comfortable for you. The walk is held rain or shine, so think about the weather! There is a ceremony at the park as part of the day. You can stand during the ceremony or sit on the grass. Some people bring a blanket or chairs to sit on.
Before the walk begins, you sign in, pick up a program booklet and choose balloons to carry on the walk. Families often write their baby’s name or a message on the balloon. There will be markers available. If you wish, you can bring your own balloons.
After sign-in, the whole group walks together to a nearby park. The street is soon filled with families, strollers, wagons and balloons! It is a joyful walk and you often hear talking and laughter. It is a short distance to the park but if you have family members that cannot walk, you can drive and park there.
At the park there is a ceremony that lasts about 45 minutes. It is filled with music and readings. If you have requested your baby’s name to be in the program, it will be read out loud during the ceremony. If your baby’s name isn’t in the program and you would like to have it read with the rest of the babies, ask when you sign in at the registration table. At the end of the ceremony, we ‘let go’ of the balloons and watch them sail towards the clouds. It is an amazing and tender sight.
After the ceremony, there are light refreshments and a keepsake for the day is handed out for you to take home. Families often linger, talking to each other or just enjoying the park.
Community Health Network Foundation is proud to provide financial support for Open Arms. The foundation is the not-for-profit philanthropic organization of Community Health Network. Profits support programs and services that benefit patients, families and employees of the network, while ensuring the exceptional experience. The foundation's philanthropic efforts, scholarship programs and promotion of healthy lifestyles inspire a culture of philanthropy throughout central Indiana. For more information about the foundation, or ways you can get involved, call 317-355-5261 or visit eCommunity.com/foundation.