Updated: Jan 26
If you're reading this, chances are a baby you love has died. And we know from experience that there is absolutely nothing worse. We are so very sorry.
Too many families never get answers after losing their baby; it's not right, and it's not fair.
There are many (rarely simple) reasons why a pregnancy may have ended in a stillbirth or other neonatal loss. And it is never a mother's fault.
If your child was stillborn, you may have elected to do some testing such as an autopsy, placental pathology, genetic testing, and/or blood tests to look for infection or clotting issues. (In many cases, though, parents are not encouraged to seek answers, so if you didn't do those things, know that you are not alone - and there are likely still opportunities to learn more, even if your loss was years prior.)
Meet Yale's Dr. Harvey Kliman
For many of us at PUSH, Yale University’s Dr. Harvey Kliman - a leading researcher in complicated pregnancy and pregnancy loss - has helped our families find answers to previously unexplained stillbirths. As a placental pathologist, Dr. Kliman is able to learn a lot from a sample of your stillborn baby's placenta - which the hospital you delivered at likely has on file, even if you didn't request this service.
You can find the detailed steps to request a placenta review from Yale here. In summary, the process involves:
Contacting Dr. Kliman's office via phone or email
Filling out some forms to the best of your ability (it's okay if they're not perfect, Dr. Kliman's office will help!) to give permission for Yale to collect a sample of your baby's placenta from the hospital/lab where it is stored
Calling Yale's Patient Pre-Estimation Department to determine if your placenta review and (optional) consultation will be covered by insurance (the review at least typically is)
Within 3-4 weeks, the placenta sample should be sent to Yale, and the review happens quickly after that. You'll receive your report over email (and/or it can be sent directly to your doctor)
You can call or email Dr. Kliman’s office anytime at 203-785-7642 or firstname.lastname@example.org to check on the status or ask questions
If you'd like to learn more about the Placenta Review, please visit https://medicine.yale.edu/obgyn/kliman/placenta/pregnancyloss
Curious? Come Learn More!
We also invite you to join us on Clubhouse the 1st Wednesday of every month and on Facebook Live the 2nd Wednesday of every month for Dr. Harvey's Empowered Pregnancy Hour, where you can ask questions directly of Dr. Kliman and parents from the PUSH and Measure the Placenta teams, and hear the stories of other families who are trying to find the answers they deserve about their baby's death or pregnancy complications.
Follow us on social media for reminders and the latest schedule!
PS - If you or someone you love has lost a baby, you may also be interested in the following resources:
Follow @StillCountsOrg on social media for tailored content for bereaved families
Stillbirth Facts & Figures (including shareable graphics)
Become a PUSH Changemaker Volunteer: see Get Involved