In this Article

Coping With the Unexpected

Angel_Watch revised
Angel Watch Program

How do you prepare for the possible loss of your baby? Is it even possible?


Perhaps you’ve just heard devastating news about your pregnancy: the child you’re carrying is not expected to live. Perhaps your doctor has asked if you want to have an early induction of labor. Perhaps you’ve been asked to make decisions you don’t know how to make — or want to make in the first place.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. We know that this is a sad, difficult, and uncertain time. Please know that you don’t have to go through this loss alone. We’re here to support you — to offer options, information, a plan, and hope. We’ll try to help you find the strength to do whatever your heart tells you is right. And for now, we can begin to help you prepare.

Below are some things we’ve learned through our work with hundreds of families going through this experience of loss. We offer them to help sustain you in this difficult moment.

  • You are not helpless.
  • Knowledge is power.
  • Speaking of the experience to the right people in the right way can help.
  • Physical needs are important.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Your emotions may surprise you.
  • Get in touch with your beliefs.

How we Help

As a service to our communities, Intermountain Healthcare offers this free program to any family, regardless of where in Utah you are planning to deliver. Staffed by trained specialists, Angel Watch provides emotional, social, and practical support during this time of uncertainty.

Together, you and your Angel Watch providers can create a plan for your pregnancy and beyond — a plan based on your individual needs and the decisions that are best for your family, whatever they may be. Our services may be in the form of home visits, phone calls, referrals to community resources, and written materials. In some cases, participants may choose to meet with others who have faced similar situations.

We can help answer tough questions such as:

  • How can I help my other children?
  • My partner and I can’t seem to agree on how to proceed, how do we find a way to be united about our decision?
  • How can I deal with or prepare for the possible financial burden?
  • I’m getting so much advice from family and friends, how can I decide what is right for my family?
  • How can I support my wife?
  • If my baby lives long enough to come home, what happens then?
  • What if my milk comes in?
  • How do I plan a memorial service for my unborn baby?
  • What will happen after my baby passes away at the hospital?

Contact Us

At every step of your journey, Angel Watch supports you and your family, helping to bring meaning to your experience now and hope for the future. Our goal is that whether it is five months, two years, or ten years down the road, you will be at peace with the decisions you made during this difficult time.

Please contact us by phone or email us at

As you thoughtfully consider your pregnancy circumstances, it may be helpful to know the details of Intermountain Healthcare’s policy about terminating pregnancy.

Intermountain Pregnancy Termination Policy

Intermountain Healthcare facilities or providers do not perform elective abortions. Termination of a pregnancy is rare and can only occur under limited and specific circumstances and according to Intermountain Healthcare policy and Utah law if:

  1. It is necessary to avert death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily functions of the mother; or
  2. The pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and it has been confirmed the event has been properly and completely reported to law enforcement; or 
  3. The fetus has severe fetal defects that will not allow it to survive until or beyond birth, as confirmed by at least two maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists.