Angel Gowns For Newborns

For families coping with the unimaginable loss of their infant, special gowns called angel gowns can offer a small measure of comfort. They are a reminder that their baby will never be forgotten, and that they did everything they could to save them. These gowns are made from repurposed wedding dresses. The gowns are distributed to hospitals, infant loss organizations and funeral homes across the country. For more information or to learn how you can help, visit the NICU Helping Hands website.

The idea behind repurposing wedding dresses is to give families something to remember their child by in a very difficult time. Often, grieving parents must look through the lost and found tub at the hospital or go out of their way to purchase clothes for their departed infant. The volunteer based organization takes donated wedding dresses and turns them into both final photo and burial gowns for babies who are born too soon or pass away after birth. The gowns are then given to hospitals and infant loss organizations to distribute to their families in need.

After her son Noah was born too soon, Haley Clark vowed to make a difference. And that’s exactly what she did. She used the wedding dress she and her late husband never got to wear to create tiny angel gowns for newborns in need. Clark donated the dresses to three places that hold a special place in her heart: Riley Children’s Health, UAMS and Ouachita Memorial Hospital in Camden.

As a neonatal intensive care unit nurse, Brandy Spurgeon has seen the pain that comes with a premature birth. When she saw a request on Facebook from a colleague looking for seamstresses to turn maternity and bridesmaid dresses into angel gowns, she knew she had to help. The small, beautiful gowns are given to families who lose their babies at Riley or in the surrounding community.

NICU Helping Hands distributes the angel gowns to hospitals across the country, including the University of California, Los Angeles Mattel Children’s Hospital, where they are used for families who have lost a baby or a fetus due to miscarriage, stillbirth or complications from prematurity. They also serve families who have a terminally ill child and wish to take their baby home for burial or cremation.

The organization has 66 seamstresses in the area, and many of them have experienced child loss themselves. They each come together to sew these gowns, a way to honor the memory of their late children. This project knits broken hearts from around the world in love, hope and healing.