Contact Us

Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
921 E. 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: (423) 209-8135
Fax: (423) 209-8241
Email: Lvincent@hamiltontn.gov

Fetal and Infant Mortality Review

"No foot is too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
What is Fetal and Infant Mortality Review?
The FIMR Program provides support to parents and families whose lives have been affected by the tragic death of a child or loss of a pregnancy.

We can provide:

  • Support needed for emotional, physical, spiritual and social healing
  • Referrals to resources needed immediately after a death, and
  • Information and emotional support to help deal with grief and other emotions following the death of a baby.

The FIMR Program attempts to learn more about the causes and factors related to these early deaths. This information helps local agencies improve or develop better services to address the needs of women, infants and families. A complete review of each individual medical record is conducted to assess gaps in services or barriers to access to needed services.

In addition to reviewing medical records, we interview mothers and families who have recently experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or early infancy who are open to sharing their story. As parents, only they can share the experience they had with medical and social service providers. The information helps us examine existing services for infants, pregnant women, and families and it helps us understand what services families need and how successful they are at obtaining them. A team of local professionals reviews each case and determines gaps, trends and barriers that might impact access to services. Community planning is then completed to address the identified issues.

Information for Families:
If you recently experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or in early infancy, the FIMR Program extends our deepest sympathy. There simply are not words to express the depth of sorrow after such a loss. The FIMR team is here to listen to your story, to give you a voice in making needed changes in our community. Parents who have participated in an interview often say that it was a positive experience. It honors their baby’s short life as well as the memory of their precious child.

Whether your loss occurred during pregnancy or after birth, you may go through a variety of experiences, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Your emotions may be unpredictable and unstable. You may dwell on questions such as “What if…” and “If only…”
You may also feel:

  • Numbness
  • Denial
  • Confusion
  • Anger or irritability
  • Deep sadness
  • Self-criticism and guilt
  • Anxiety or loneliness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical sensations: tightness in the throat or chest, shortness of breath, a lack of energy, body aches or heart palpitations.

Taking care of yourself is important. This experience may be overwhelming for the whole family and at times you may feel alone.
Here are some suggestions:

  • Sleep: Give yourself plenty of time to rest. Grief is emotionally and physically draining.
  • Exercise: Take walks or exercise frequently. Physical activity can reduce stress and may give you time to gather your thoughts.
  • Talk with others: Consider seeking out others, through support groups, church groups, family or friends.
  • Cry, cry, and cry: Tears are very healing.
  • You don’t have to cry in front of others, however, sometimes in the deepest of grief it helps to cry with another person present.
  • Honor your feelings: Embrace your emotions. They may range from anger to sorrow to hope; everyone reacts differently