I came across an article today that made me cry. A Utah woman sews baby burial gowns and donates them to hospitals so that parents have something to put on their babies who don’t survive. The project is called, “Tender Mercies,” and it was founded by Melody Penrod. She wants those sweet little babies to be respected and knows that the burials gowns provide a small amount of comfort to the grieving parents.
The Tender Mercies Project
Penrod asked hospital personnel in a NICU what they normally do to dress a baby who has passed. She was told that they wrap the baby in a washcloth because that’s all they have. Penrod wanted that to change, which is why she founded Tender Mercies. There are similar organizations across the United States.
Tender Mercies creates beautiful baby burial gowns. The outfits are similar to baby blessing outfits, but small enough to accommodate premature babies. They range in size from eight inches to 23 inches. This size outfit is impossible to find at a store.
Penrod doesn’t work alone. A group of four seamstresses design and sew the baby burial outfits and then distribute them to hospitals in Utah Valley. She also encourages others to get involved.
One surprising thing about Tender Mercies is that all of its baby burial outfits are made from wedding dresses that were donated to the cause. If you want to donate your wedding dress or make a monetary donation, you can send it to:
Tender Mercy Angels
221 East 2475 South
Springville, UT 84663
Sew Baby Burial Gowns
According to the March of Dimes, 4 in 1,000 babies dies in the United States each year. The most common reasons are premature birth and birth defects. These little babies deserve to wear something when they are buried, but this is only possible if people make baby burial outfits.
Penrod’s Tender Mercies project touched my heart because I delivered a baby at 26 weeks’ gestation. My baby did not die, but I witnessed the grief of other parents during my baby’s four-month stay in the NICU. I constantly wondered if my baby would make it, especially during the first month of his life.
Baby burial gowns are a major need in NICUs across the United States. If you want to do something that truly makes a difference to a grieving parent, you can get involved and sew some baby burial gowns to donate yourself. You’ll need to contact your local children’s hospital to see if they accept donations or contact an Angel Gowns organization in your area. You can find them in almost every state.
If you don’t want to sew some baby burial gowns yourself, you can still do something to help the cause. Many organizations collect wedding dresses and monetary donations to cover the shipping costs. I plan to make a few baby burial gowns to donate myself. Who’s with me?