These conditions have sometimes been described as incompatible with life however this is not always the case and babies having such conditions can usually survive birth and live for a short time. The average for both Trisomy 13 and 18 is 14.5 days but many will survive for more than a month. One Irish girl Elaine Fagan with Trisomy 18 (Edward's syndrome) actually lived for 25years. The majority of babies born with anencephaly will die shortly after birth but once again, some survive for up 5 days while a small percentage can live up to 28 days. Two babies with anencephaly lived for a period in excess of two years
Most women will want to ensure the survival of their babies for as long as possible and to the maximum possible extent.
First accurate information is essential so that a couple can plan for even the shortest time span of their baby's life. Second there should never be pressure on a mother to terminate the life of her baby, on the contrary everything should be done to allow her to know and hold her baby and to celebrate this short life, even in these saddest of circumstances. No matter how short a baby's life may be, he or she is a unique individual possessing human dignity and a mother needs a caring environment in which she is free to get to know her baby no matter how short a lifespan and to be able to grieve his or her passing.
One way in which this can be achieved is through Perinatal Hospice deliveries, which provide a helpful caring oasis in which everything that should be done can be done to assist a couple during this intimate time of birth, of getting to meet and to know their baby in the short time available to them and grieving their loss at his or her untimely death