Perinatal Palliative Care

Palliative care is a philosophy of care that focuses on quality of life in the face of a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. It aims to ensure comfort, create meaning and foster relationships between loved ones when time may be short. Perinatal palliative care applies all of these concepts to newborns, often beginning before the baby is born.

Contact the Perinatal Palliative Care team: 857-237-CARE (2273)


Most people who seek perinatal palliative care are parents who have received difficult news from their obstetric providers. They may be facing a diagnosis in their fetus that is incompatible with life or may have life-limiting implications. This is often a difficult, frightening, and confusing time for parents. If you are this parent, the Perinatal Palliative Care team at Mass General is here to help.

Who is the Perinatal Palliative Care team at Mass General?

The Perinatal Palliative Care Team is comprised of two pediatricians, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, and four nurses with expertise in various areas from labor and delivery to newborn intensive and pediatric care. We work very closely with Mass General chaplains and child life specialists. We also work with your OB providers and all of the subspecialists who may be involved in your care (such as neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists and pediatric surgeons).

How can we help you?

The perinatal palliative care team understands that you have likely received difficult news about your baby. We also know that you may be facing challenging decisions, and no option feels like a good one. We can help you think through what is best for you and your family. We bring no judgment, political or religious stance, but rather the belief that loving parents, with the right information, will make the most loving choices for their child. By thinking through what is most important to you, what worries you, what you are most hoping for, we can help you to make the best choices for your baby and your family.

We will support you through the decisions you make, including creating a pregnancy or birth plan that honors your wishes. If you continue your pregnancy, we will help you to find ways to make it joyous and meaningful. Our team can teach you to care for your newborn and alleviate any suffering. We can assist in making the time you do have with your child meaningful and memorable. We can help you think through your options in supporting your newborn, from artificial feedings or more advanced medical support, to allowing life and death to occur naturally. If your child lives longer than expected, we can assist with the transition to home with hospice care or longer-term support.


  • MacDonald, Jeanne L., MD

    Board Certifications
    • Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
    • Boston: Pediatric Critical Care Unit
  • O'Malley, Patricia Jean, MD


    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Palliative care
    Board Certifications
    • Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
    • Pediatric Emergency Medicine, American Board of Emergency Medicine
    • Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics
    • Boston: Pediatric Palliative Care

Other Providers

  • Caitlin Merrill, NP
  • Karen Parsons, RN
  • Beth West, RN
  • Kim Francis, RN
  • Carolyn Bleiler, RN
  • Nancy Leventhal, LICSW



To make an appointment, please call Karen Parsons, RN, at 857-237-CARE (2273). Or ask your OB provider to contact us.

Contact the Perinatal Palliative Care team: 857-237-CARE (2273)

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