Angel Gowns For Infants and Newborns

angel gowns

In the United States, more than 626,000 babies are born through still birth or miscarriage each year. For many families, this is one of the hardest losses they can endure. It is an emotional and spiritual loss that never fully heals.

For these bereaved families, a simple outfit can help them remember their baby in comfort. That is the goal of an organization in Minnesota called Angel Gowns, which uses donated wedding dresses and other dress wear to create burial gowns for infants and newborns. The gowns are then given to hospitals, funeral homes and directly to families for free.

The group’s mission began with one woman’s personal journey. After losing her second son, Allison Hauer found solace in sewing these little outfits for other bereaved parents. Hauer recruited an army of volunteers who meet monthly in the basement of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin, Minn. The women transform donated wedding dresses and prom gowns into tiny angel outfits for babies who pass away during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. The outfits are completed with a knitted hat and blanket, a keepsake charm and a cross or heart. They also make vests for boys out of men’s suits and pants.

One of the newest members to the team is Mayo Clinic nurse Lynn Gaber. Gaber works in the cardiovascular surgery ICU at Mayo and is familiar with the heartache of the loss of a baby. That’s why she was so moved by a story in FOX 9 last year about Sarah Clark, who lost her baby boy after just four days in the hospital.

“It’s a story that really struck me because I know that pain,” said Gaber. “I’ve seen it so many times. I want to give them a little bit of comfort.”

Gaber has made gowns for her patients and others around Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and the Twin Cities. Her work has now spread nationally. She’s supplied gowns to hospitals in California, Oregon and Texas.

She hasn’t met the family that will receive her next creation, but she hopes the gown will bring them some comfort. “I think this will remind them that their baby is beautiful and that he or she is loved,” she said.

The hospital’s NICU nurses and labor and delivery nurses are thrilled to be able to offer these special gowns to families who need them. They know that for some, it can be the only thing they have to hold on to their child. For more information about Dignity Health – St Mary Medical Center and their maternity services, visit their website here. To learn more about how you can support their efforts, click here.