Angel Gowns For Infants

angel gowns

While many brides carefully fold their wedding dresses and keep them for years, others are repurposing them for a more meaningful purpose. Across the country, volunteers are collecting and stitching wedding dresses into angel gowns for infants who are born still or pass away shortly after birth. The gowns are then distributed to families and hospitals.

A local woman, Terry Bauer, decided to start sewing the angel gowns after her retirement from Pickerington Schools. She says the school district cut her home economics teaching position but she wanted to continue using her skills. While scrolling through Facebook one night, she came across a woman who sews the tiny angel outfits. She thought it was a wonderful way to honor the lives of little babies lost before, during or after their time with parents.

Since then, she’s crafted more than 1,000 angel gowns for organizations across the country. Currently, she sews for four groups: Columbus Christ Child Society; Touching Little Lives, in Groveport; NICU Helping Hands, in Fort Worth, Texas; and Rest in His Arms, in Chicago. She uses the gowns to honor any infant – from micro-preemies to those delivered full-term.

She also makes the outfits for infants whose mothers choose to bury their babies at home. “That’s something so personal that the mother is able to do,” she says. “It gives the baby dignity.”

Brandy Spurgeon, a labor and delivery nurse at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, has been receiving the dresses for about a year. She says they’re a beautiful and uplifting reminder of her daughter, Karolina, who was born premature and died before leaving the hospital. She says they’re a comfort to other families who experience similar loss.

Each year, more than 626,000 babies in the United States are lost due to miscarriage or stillbirth, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It is believed that about 1 in 4 women will experience an infant loss in their lifetime. The gowns are free to any family who needs them.

This article is brought to you by Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center Long Beach. Visit the hospital’s website to learn more about its services and to find a provider near you.