We've all known of someone who has received the heartbreaking diagnosis of their unborn child. There is nothing that can take away the pain of being told your child is not expected to live and most friends and family members struggle with how to support the parents who have been dealt such a blow. Having a Celebration of Life Baby Shower could be a great way to lend your support, especially to parents who are strong enough to hope and who refuse to give up on their baby. No matter how short, every baby's life deserves to be celebrated, and every mother wants to know that her baby was loved and cared for by others.

Talk to the Mom First

Not all moms who receive a prenatal diagnosis are going to be okay with a baby shower. Plan what you would like to do for her and then approach her with the idea. Surprising her may not work well because it might be too emotional for her.  But if she has time to think about it, it may end up being the best thing for her.


It might not feel appropriate to play games at this baby shower, but you can ask each guest to write words of encouragement and support in a book or for each to stand up and talk about a certain trait of the mom-to-be that they particularly love, like her strength. You could also decorate her baby bump and take photos.

Pampering Gifts

It may seem like there aren't any gifts to give a mom whose baby is giving a diagnosis that includes the words, “incompatible with life,” but it isn't true. You can give mom gifts that include ways she can pamper herself or just take care of herself after her baby is born, especially if she ends up spending many nights in the hospital. Consider a Kindle to read books on while she's in the hospital and load it up with books she can read to her baby before and after birth. Gift cards to restaurants so she and her partner can order take out when they don't feel like cooking are a good idea. You could also give her a gift card to a salon so that she can get even just a haircut.

Gifts to Remember

Gifts such as a baby blanket or quilt with her baby's name on it are a sweet gift that the mom can cherish forever. Other remembrance gifts include a bracelet or necklace with her baby's name and birthstone. A framed sonogram photo or a scrapbook of her sonograms and other memorabilia like the hospital bracelets will also be gifts she'll love.

The Gift of Cherished Moments

A wonderful gift is a photography session with a professional photographer both before and after her child's birth. Many families can't afford this or aren't even thinking of it while dealing with the diagnosis, but this gift will be precious to the parents if indeed their child does not survive. There is a great organization you can contact as well called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep that connects photographers with parents whose unborn child receives a prenatal diagnosis.

Standard Baby Gifts

Just because your friend's child received a fatal diagnosis doesn't mean that your friend isn't holding out hope or that the doctors aren't completely wrong. It's happened before! Do give her a couple of cute outfits and sweet baby gifts if she is holding out for a miracle. Not including these gifts may make her feel that you don't believe she is right to hope and plan.

It may be difficult to find the words to say to your friend while she struggles with this diagnosis, but your support and ability to listen is what will matter most to her. Find a way to celebrate her baby and she will be forever grateful for your kindness and compassion.