Desiree may be a newly certified birth and bereavement doula, but she is no stranger to the world of baby loss.
Despite never experiencing pregnancy/infant loss herself, she has helped more than 100 families over the past decade who do through her work as a volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS), a 501©3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the gift of infant remembrance portraiture to families who lose a precious child. She was one of the first volunteer photographers in the South Jersey/Philadelphia region and has helped grow the pool of volunteer photographers up to 16, all of whom serve hospitals in their communities in the Delaware Valley.
But what families receive in addition to the gift of photography Desiree gives, is a friend and fierce advocate for families who find themselves in this nightmare. Most families over the past decade have befriended her on social media and make it a point to let others know what an impact she has had on their families and just how great the need is for families to create tangible memories of their children gone too soon.
After meeting with the new Area Coordinator for NILMDTS, Kristen Samuelson, the two developed a passion, friendship and kinship for helping these families and honoring their children. In 2016, Desiree signed on as a Board Member/Secretary and helped develop Three Little Birds Perinatal & Palliative Care Advocacy and Support Center. As this non-profit grew, so did her interest in better serving the families in need of this support.
In spring 2017, Desiree completed a comprehensive certificate program through StillBirthday.com and continues to develop the programs, resources and outreach of Three Little Birds Perinatal, all while sitting bedside with families encouraging them to bond with their children through photographs, celebrations of life, bedside memory making and post-partum support. “I knew the gift I was giving through NILMDTS was important and the families are always so appreciative, but I always left felt I could do or give more. There is so much out there we can do to create positive memories for the family during such a difficult time. All of this will help set the path for the healing journey ahead, which is so personal and unique for each family. As a bereavement doula, I can now serve families with not just my camera, but fully with my heart!, says Miller.
While she is not advocating for families and honoring each special baby she is co-owner of Image is Everything Studios in Swedesboro, NJ and dedicated mom to two very active and happy teenagers.
Join us in congratulating Desiree on this achievement! If you are interested in how you can help families as a bereavement doula, please contact us!
At this time, our doulas volunteer their services and work full-time, therefore, we are unable to provide bedside birthing doula services. Our focus is bereavement and post-partum care. Should you wish to hire a birth doula, you can find one in your region here: https://stillbirthday.com/find-doula/
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director