Come and find out what's happening with
If there is one thing that can be said about childbirth, it’s that it is intimately personal. There is no one way that works for everyone. Each of us has our own vision for the birth of our children and we must choose the method that is best suited to our individual birth plans and the type of birth we’d like to experience. Obviously, the more positive your birth experience is, the easier it will be. Unfortunately, not everyone has a successful birth outcome, and many are left to feel so terribly alone when made aware of their child's fate.
In researching this topic, we discovered that there are essentially two groups of pregnant women; those who’ve heard of Doulas and those who haven’t. Most people have NOT heard of a Bereavement Doula. With that in mind, today’s post highlights the role of a Bereavement Doula and the benefits of having one to walk the journey of pregnancy and infant loss with you.
WHAT IS THE PRIMARY ROLE OF A DOULA?
Doula is Greek for servant, and this is basically our role. We are there to support not just Mom, but Dad too. We are there to coach both parents through the entire labor process. We will walk the journey with you of preparing for your baby, birthing him, making memories and then the post-partum phase of birth as well as bereavement.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT DOULAS?
The biggest misconception is that a doula takes the place of Mom’s partner and this isn’t true at all. We don’t aim to replace anyone and are there for both parents. We offer moral support and stress relief to Mom AND Partner. In situations in Perinatal loss, we are there to support the entire family (siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles and friends) through the transition of returning home and creating a new normal.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA?
Having a non-medical advocate as part of your care team in cases of bereavement provides you with someone who can walk the journey with you. We are there to provide you and your family with everything you need to empower yourself to focus on having the best possible experience while meeting your child. The families we have served are grateful to have had an advocate by their side and walk them through the hours, days and weeks after their loss.
WHAT TYPE OF EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED TO BECOME A DOULA?
Three Little Birds Perinatal’s Bereavement Doulas are certified through Stillbirthday University. We are not DONA or CAPPA certified at this time and do not provide bedside birthing doula support services at this time.
WHAT ARE SOME BEREAVEMENT DOULA SERVICES AVAILABLE?
Our bereavement doulas meet with our palliative care clients as soon as possible to begin preparing for your baby’s arrival. We will coordinate services to create memories weeks prior to your delivery date, such as maternity photos, bump casting and keepsake making. When your child arrives, we will capture all those precious moments for you and help you create lasting memories that you will have to treasure for the rest of your life. Should you need assistance with funeral arrangements or planning a memorial service, we can provide you with all the info you need. Being given a life-limiting or uncertain prenatal diagnosis for your child is difficult enough. We are here to serve your family as you prepare for this life-changing exciting and somber life event.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A DOULA?
As a doula I am trained in childbirth, however as a Loss Mom myself, I understand the overwhelming fog that takes over and the support required in the day, weeks and months to come. Families experiencing a perinatal loss deserve respectful, compassionate, skilled care from the trusted companions invited into the birth space. To be truly educated about birth, we caregivers must be educated about how to lovingly handle the range of possible outcomes of birth. Perinatal bereavement training helps to deepen the doula/midwife/nurse’s level of compassion and to expand bereavement skills so clients experiencing a perinatal loss are served in the most compassionate, competent manner possible. The perinatal time is precious as it cannot be recreated. It is the foundation on which the family’s future healing is built and careful, empathetic care during the time of a loss can positively influence the way the family eventually heals and integrates their loss into their life.
HOW DOES A DOULA INVOLVE DAD?
We know that Dads are sometimes pretty nervous and don’t always know what to do so we provide them with instruction and guidance. We show them where to touch, provide gentle instruction with regards to what to do, and quite often it’s as simple as reminding them to look as the baby is being born so that they don’t miss anything. We have encouraged dozens of apprehensive fathers to bond with their babies and they always respond to thank us for that push to love and celebrate their baby's brief but meaningful life.
A DOULAS PROMISE
I am a doula, and my profession is a calling. As your support person, I feel I am called to a standard, which I make as promises to you:
It is an honor to serve you and your family. Please let us know how we can proceed in helping you and we will get the ball rolling. You have complete access to us with any questions or information requests you may have. We wish you all the best.
Read more about our StillBirthday Certified Bereavement Doulas:
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Bereavement Doula, NILMDTS Photographer & Loss Mama
Desiree Miller, SBD, Bereavement Doula & NILMDTS Photographer
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director