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Many parents try to create some additional meaning to their babies' lives by donating whatever they can from their children's physical presence. These decisions need to be made in accord with current medical guidelines, so talk to your doctor or midwife.

Organ Donation

This is controversial. Current guidelines about anencephalics as organ donors state that they are NOT acceptable organ donors. I have been otld that babies with Potter's Syndrome and the trisomies are also not acceptable donors according to medical criteria established by the AMA. For information about your baby's specific case, your doctor may be your best reference. It's hard to accept that your baby's death can't even help save another baby's life. However, many of these guidelines are established to protect the dignity and humanity of the donor.

Two articles dealing specifically with anencephaly are at and I'll have more on this when I find my references, promise. :-)

Cord Blood Donation

There is, however, no controversy whatsoever about donating your baby's umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood contains millions of stem cells, and research shows that stem cell infusions help patients with leukemia. There's a FAQ at the National Marrow Donor Program, where you can also locate the nearest cord blood donation center. I've been warned that it takes a while to get through the paperwork, though, so start early.

Breast Milk Donation