No matter where you are in your pregnancy, if you are experiencing or expect to experience the loss of a baby, I want your first to know how sorry I am for your loss. Whether sudden or expected, through early miscarriage, still birth or death soon after birth, the loss of a child and all the dreams and possibilities he or she represents to us as parents is nearly impossible to articulate in words. It is real, it is visceral and the grief you feel is normal. And you are not alone. Nearly,1 out of 60 births results in stillbirth or neonatal death in the United States. If you add to that the number of miscarriages that families experience, the loss rises to 1 out of 4 pregnancies.
As both a doula who has served many mothers and fathers and families experiencing loss, I am uniquely prepared to help you prepare and move through the birth of your baby, no matter its gestational age. As a mother who has suffered numerous miscarriages -- both early and late-term -- I will hold you within the compassionate arms of someone who has traveled a similar road. It's the same road -- your loss is yours alone and your grief and growth must happen on your own timeline. But while I may not understand fully the the bounds of your loss, I have experienced loss and moved thought it, after many years, to a place of grace. I hope as a guide for your journey, and with the help of other professionals you will eventually reach the same place.
What’s included in Bereavement/Loss Doula Care?
If time allows we will seek to have 2 prenatal meetings: During these meetings we will discuss your feelings, plan for the birth of your child, discuss and plan for what you would like to happen after the birth of your baby, and discuss what experiences and emotions you may have during the postpartum period. I invite you to ask questions, share your story, and let me know how you feel I can be of best support to you.
During your labor: I will come to your home (or hospital or wherever you may be) when you labor begins. I will remain with you throughout your labor. During this time, we'll use all the measures I would use at any birth – massage, music, gentle movement, water, counter pressure and other techniques to reduce pain and give you strength. Whenever and wherever possible, I will help your partner be your primary support provider, giving him or her ideas, tips and assistance.
During the Immediate Postpartum I will:
In the Days & Weeks that Follow I will:
Readings That May Help in Some Small Way;
New York Times: Stillbirth: Your Stories / JULY 28, 2015: Few families are prepared when a baby dies prior to delivery. Here, parents who have navigated this difficult experience shared their insights.
Centers for Disease Control Stillbirth Stories: The following stories come from mothers who have lost a child through stillbirth. These mothers are ambassadors for Count the Kicks, a program ofHealthy Birth Day
I hope the following resources are helpful to you as you move through your loss.