The information gathered is helpful for many reasons. It may provide answers or insight to some of your questions, like Why did it happen? and Will it happen again? Even if all of your questions are not answered, there may be comfort in knowing that as much as possible was learned about your baby. With your permission, this information can be shared with researchers to help other babies in the future.
Policies regarding autopsies vary from hospital to hospital. This may be why more than 50 percent of stillbirth deaths remain unexplained. If you are not offered an autopsy and would like one, ask to talk with a social worker. He or she can explain to you what your options are.
Agreeing to an autopsy does not prevent you from spending time with your baby or choosing to have a funeral, memorial service, cremation or burial. Most parents find that having this information is valuable as they try to deal with the impact of their loss and begin to move forward.
Last Updated: Jan 4, 2010
Please know that your baby will be treated respectfully.