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As summer winds to an end and kids head back to school, our September Focus Theme is appropriately EDUCATION.
Over the past two years, Three Little Birds has worked closely with numerous hospitals in the Philadelphia metro and Southern New Jersey region. These experiences have connected us with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who reach out to us for guidance and support in helping families experiencing the loss of a pregnancy and baby.
While they are always well intentioned, the majority of these professionals openly admit, they don't have the education and resources to provide these families with what they need during their hospital stay and as they head home to figure out their "new normal". Nearly all of the professionals we have connected with explain to us that they are not provided education on bereavement, especially related to perinatal loss in their degree and licensing programs. Considering pregnancy and infant loss effects 1 in every 4 families, this is concerning to our organization.
It is difficult for families dealing with these situations to advocate for themselves, especially in the first few months as they heal and understand their situations. Many families are not aware of the resources and support available to them until it is too late.
It is part of Three Little Birds' mission to provide Educational Support to families and medical professionals in the field of perinatal support. Our organization has listened to the families who have reached out to us and bravely shared their stories with us to understand the varied and individual needs of families having to say hello and goodbye in a blink of an eye.
This includes, how to communicate with bereaved families, how to communicate among staff to share sensitive information and wishes families have, how to facilitate bonding and memory making with babies who pass away, providing post-partum support and resources to support families as they return home, forever changed.
Three Little Birds is developing a comprehensive educational program, complete with hospital-branded, up-to-date printed resources to assist medical professionals in explaining numerous overwhelming decisions that need to be made, items to facilitate memory making, supporting various cultural, religious, spiritual and diverse ethnic needs of families, as well as physical support items for mom as she heals after delivery.
Additionally, there will be a training component for medical professionals on how to take photographs of the family when a volunteer professional photographer is not available through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Often times, when a volunteer is not available, staff does not offer the gift of photography to families. This is an option that should be available to ALL families who wish to memorialize the short time they have together. By teaching medical staff on Labor & Delivery and Neonatal Intensive Care Units photography and posing basics, families can be provided with an invaluable gift that will set the footprint of their healing journey.
This program will be facilitated by Three Little Birds Co-Founders, Kristen Samuelson, Loss Parent and Bereavement Doula and Desiree Miller, Bereavement Doula and Professional Photographer. Both Kristen and Desiree have served more than 130 families throughout the region, providing validation, support and the gift of infant remembrance portraiture through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
This program is slated to be available for presentation in early 2019 and we are hoping to provide Continuing Education Credits to those who take our course. We are taking reservations now from hospitals who are seeking to improve their perinatal bereavement services to families in their facilities as well as meet the requirements of the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research & Dignity Act passed in the State of New Jersey.
Three Little Birds is committed to educating the medical community in the varying needs and support required by families experiencing the unthinkable loss of a baby and/or pregnancy. Click here to read our Manifesto for Medical Support.
In late 2017, Three Little Birds was gifted more than 100, unique, handcrafted Angel Gowns, to be given to families suffering from stillbirth or neonatal loss. These gowns are created from donated wedding gowns and gifted to families as burial gowns. Every baby deserves a beautiful garment!
The angel gown donation we received from "Grandma Angel" varied in sizes, colors and styles to suit each and every unique baby. The gowns are donated and deconstructed then created from patterns for the various sizes of babies. In addition to gorgeous gowns, seamstresses also make "Premie Pockets" for second trimester losses who are too small for a traditional angel gown.
Nationwide, volunteer seamstresses are creating these gorgeous gowns for their local hospitals and families. We are fortunate to Christine Unander for volunteering her time to become Three Little Bird's in-house Angel Gown Coordinator!
This program has become very popular and we have received numerous requests to accept donated gowns. Three Little Birds will be collecting gowns over the next six weeks, leading up to Mother's Day, to be sent to our seamstresses!
The Program accepts clean wedding or evening gowns (light pink, blue, or cream ONLY) to be considered for this program. You can drop off your donation at the following locations:
GOWN DROP OFF THROUGH MAY 12
Porch Drop Off -- Image is Everything Studios, `1428 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, NJ
(please leave on front porch in a box or bag with a note it is for the Angel Gown Program.
Additionally, we will be collecting gowns at the South Jersey Family & Maternity Fair on May 12th at the Float Haven Spa in Pitman, NJ! This event is sponsored by the Float Haven Spa, Wondertime, LLC, the Essential Light worker and the Village Breastfeeding & Wellness. It is a wonderful event, with vendors, giveaways and lots of love and support!
If you live outside the area, boxes can be shipped to Image is Everything Studios.
Three Little Birds to Attend South Jersey Family & Maternity Fair - May 12, 2018 at Float Haven Health Spa!
Saturday, March 12, 2018
Float Haven Health Spa
110 N. Woodbury Road, Pitman, NJ
A Portion of the proceeds will benefit, Three Little Birds Perinatal & Palliative Care Advocacy & Support Center, supporting families through pregnancy and infant loss. Help us #shatterthestigma!
The South Jersey Family & Maternity Fair is hosted by the Float Haven Health Spa of Pitman, NJ to support healthy pregnancies and families. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Three Little Birds Perinatal and Palliative Care Advocacy & Support Center, a local non-profit that supports pregnancy and infant loss, which effects 1 in every 4 families.
Three Little Birds is excited to be included in and benefit from this amazing event! The Float Haven Health Spa will be hosting some of the best service and care providers in the region, including OB/GYN, Doulas, Prenatal Massage Therapist, Pediatrician, Daycare, Elective Ultrasound, Reiki and Guided Meditation, Prenatal Yoga, and more! Vendors will be carefully selected for Earth-Friendly and Handmade items for Mama and for Baby. There will be both a 50/50 and a Raffle for an AMAZING Gift Basket!
Three Little Birds will be celebrating ALL MAMAs at this event. In an effort to #shatterthestigma of pregnancy and infant loss, we will celebrate that all mamas matter. Our organizations focus is to support families through the loss of a pregnancy or baby, something that effects 1 in every 4 women, but no one talks about. Three Little Birds will have resources and information available for families regarding miscarriage, baby loss as well as celebrating pregnancy after loss!
We are so grateful to the vendors and support of the local community to support the services and mission of Three Little Birds. We encourage families to come and also see the support around them! We will have lots of Mother’s Day gifts for sale (celebrating loss mamas too!), all to benefit the services and programs of the organization! See you at the Float Haven Health Spa!
Follow the event on Facebook for updates!
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director