Three Little Birds Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support was founded in 2016 after Kristen and Brent Samuelson lost their two precious daughters, Jimmie Anne Samuelson, stillborn in October 2014 at nearly 28 weeks gestation, and Chloe Rainbow, an 11-week misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. While they received satisfactory medical care, the Samuelson's were disappointed by the lack of emotional and spiritual support offered to them by the hospital. Twice, the Samuelson’s were forced to say hello and goodbye to their children within hours; discharged back into the world unsupported on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Unfortunately, their family is just one of the millions across the globe left unsupported after such a traumatic and life-changing loss.
The Bob Marley Song, Three Little Birds, was the inspiration for this endeavor. While pregnant with her first daughter, Kristen would hear the song frequently and believed it was a reminder to...."not worry about a thing, because every little thing, is going to be all right" While things did not turn out as planned, everything eventually became better and more "all right" as they moved forward on their healing journey and into a “new normal”. All worrying did was rob Kristen of the time she had to share with the baby, something she will always be haunted by.
The efforts and outreach of Three Little Birds Perinatal is inspired by the Samuelson’s two children but done in memory of all the babies lost by families throughout the region. The goal is to provide each family in need with all of the options, resources, and support they didn't have themselves. We honor personal, spiritual, religious, and ethnic diversity with the same compassionate care we want to see for everyone on their family-building journey of love and loss.
Kristen Samuelson, Founder & Executive Director
Certified Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent; Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen has more than six years experience serving dozens of families from a professional and personal perspective and manages the majority of Three Little Birds executive functions including going bedside to support loss at hospitals or funeral homes, virtual and in-person support, legacy project management, grant research and writing, as well as product development for our Etsy store. She also authored several publications including the pregnancy and infant loss journal"A Nest for my Heart", "As our Nest Grows", a pregnancy after loss book and "Remembering Baby Bird", a support book for siblings, in addition to our Perinatal Bereavement Training Workshop for Medical Professionals and Advocates. Additionally, as a certified bereavement doula, she provides one on one consultations for parents and families, as well as provides spiritual readings as an intuitive healer. Prior to founding Three Little Birds, she had more than two decades of marketing and proposal writing experience in the engineering/construction industry.
Desiree Miller, Co-Founder, Treasurer and Principal Photographer
Certified Bereavement Doula/Professional Photographer; Contact: email@example.com
Desiree has served more than 250 families bedside to provide the gift of infant portraiture and memory making through her volunteer service with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and now through her own endeavor through Three Little Birds. She, along with her co-founders, Kristen and Brent Samuelson, fulfill the mission of Three Little Birds with various services and programs to support families in our region with personalized support through our Palliative Care Program and our Pregnancy After Loss Program as a Program Sponsor through her studio, Image is Everything in Pitman, NJ. When she isn't supporting families in our nest, she is enjoying life with her husband and two adult children.
Brent Samuelson, Co-Founder and Bereavement Photographer
Certified Bereavement Photographer/Loss Parent; Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to co-founding Three Little Birds with his wife Kristen and friend Desiree Miller, Brent supports the team by going bedside to provide the gift of infant remembrance portraiture and memory. He has supported more than three dozen families experiencing stillbirth or neonatal loss/support pulls at several local hospitals. In addition to his advocacy work in memory of his two daughters, he is also dedicated to supporting loss fathers to organically connect through Three Little Birds. This includes hosting a Father's Day BBQ that included a disc golf tournament with the two winners going home with a gift certificate for a memorial tattoo and tickets to a Phillies game!
Dana Ridpath, Secretary
Director of Sunshine and Happiness (her preferred title!) Contact: email@example.com
Dana joined the nest in early 2020 seeking to put her professional skills and big heart to work to support the mission of Three Little Birds. Her efforts include supporting administrative tasks and event management. Most recently, she managed our Wave of Light in October and our Bereaved Mother's Day Spa event at Float Haven Spa. Fun fact - Dana and Kristen used to manage charity events at their former employer nearly 20 years ago! When she isn't supporting the families in our nest, she can be found traveling and supporting her kids endeavors in sports and academics!
OUR BEREAVEMENT TEAM
Nicole Bruno, BSN, RNC-OB
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Registered Nurse
Nicole brings a dynamic perspective to grief support through her personal experience losing her daughter Christianna, as well as serving as a Labor & Delivery Nurse and managing the bereavement care for a local hospital. She currently provides virtual and in-person support through her customized groups/formats and is dedicated to supporting families in the region walking similar journeys.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Professional Photographer
Roseanne supports our families and events as a bereavement doula and photographer. For the past three years, she has captured our fundraising and awareness events as well as served as producer of Three Little Bird's Perinatal Bereavement Training Workshop's five weeks of virtual content. She joined Three Little Birds to volunteer in memory of her daughter, Tela Clementine.
Alison Ferrara, MSW
Certified Social Worker/Loss Parent
Ali found Three Little Birds after receiving a life-limiting diagnosis and was supported under our Palliative Care Program. She now provides support to others through her legacy project Mira’s Banners of Love, as well as providing peer matched support for families who choose to carry to term. Administratively, provides guidance and navigating social services during perinatal loss at the healthcare level.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement
Pat has more than 25 years experience as a Registered Nurse specializing in pediatrics. She recently completed our advocacy training workshop to serve our nest as a Certified Bereavement Doula. She will use her professional experience to help expand our program to support sonographers, emergency room clinicians supporting first and second trimester losses and OBGYN office staff with new virtual training. She is also an avid crocheter and makes the cutest keepsakes for us to give to families bedside.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement/Professional Birth Doula and Photographer/Loss Parent
Caitlyn joined the nest through our advocate training program, but has professional experience as a birth doula. Between her experience as a birth worker and personal experience with perinatal loss, she hopes to support families in the nest and the healthcare system in normalizing loss and the grief process behind it. She is committed to working with Three Little Birds to bridge the gap between healthcare and humanity when it comes to supporting mothers experiencing the loss of their baby.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement/Full Spectrum Birth Doula/Loss Parent
Melissa is a full spectrum doula, cache certified newborn care spcialist and local post-partum care provider. Serving the local community is important to her as a loss mama. As a Three Little Birds Certified Bereavement Doula, Melissa will learn, empower, encourage and advocate for local loss families bedside in addition to expanding our training program.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Legacy Project - Xander's Nursery
Brooke was supported by Three Little Birds through various support and fundraising events after experiencing the loss of her son Xander at 24 weeks. She now supports other families in the nest by facilitating our monthly Craft & Heal support groups through her legacy project, Xander's Nursery. Additionally, she goes bedside to give the gift of infant remembrance portraiture. She is also interested in developing support specific to sibling loss.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Legacy Project - Aubree's Adventures
Ashly found Three Little Birds after being dissatisfied with the support groups provided through healthcare systems. Since joining the nest and becoming a Certified Bereavement Doula, she is launching a legacy project in memory of her daughter who was stillborn, called Aubree's Adventures, to give families a social outlet with others walking a similar journey. In addition to going bedside, she is assiting with the development and facilitation of our Pregnancy After Loss Mentorship Program.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Legacy Project - Grey Skies
Dominique first learned of Three Little Birds bedside after delivering her son Luca Grey, who was stillborn. Since his passing, she has found healing and empowerment in supporting others walking similar journeys through her advocacy training and attending our monthly support groups. In addition to now being the advocate that goes bedside to support families like hers, she is also supporting the development of our disposition preferred provider program to help offset unexpected financial burdens for others.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Licensed Practical Nurse/Child Life Counselor
Kanei is committed to all things women's health related and wants to use her new certification as a bereavement doula to educate others in the classroom, the workplace and through various encounters. As a nurse, she will also focus on providing compassion and empathy while creating standard practices for perinatal bereavement care in the workplace. Kanei will support our families bedside through our training workshop and give the gift of validation and memory through infant remembrance portraiture
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula
Loss Parent/Professional Photographer
Kristann is a professional photographer who is finding healing in her own loss experience by becoming a trained advocate with Three Little Birds. She will use her talents to go bedside and give families the gift of infant remembrance portraiture in honor of her twins who were full term losses. Additionally, Kristann will help advance the mission of the organization through supporting events, services and programs.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent/Professional Physical Therapist
Marci completed our Advocate Training Program with the intention of helping others walking similar journeys of receiving a life limiting or uncertain fetal diagnosis. She is a professional physical therapist seeking to help families pregnant after loss. To honor her daughter Hope's birthday, Marci fundraises to purchase grief support books. Thanks to Marci and Hope, Three Little Birds had copies to give to attendees at our Open House!
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula/Loss Parent
Sara found Three Little Birds through a friend after the loss of her son Oliver, and has since found a path to advocacy by supporting others. As a certified bereavement doula, she will support the organization with support inquiries, virtual and in-person support group facilitation and more! She is specifically interested in helping us diversify our support offerings to be sure everyone in our community is represented.
Certified Volunteer Bereavement Doula
Holly lost her son's twin at seven months old and ever since has been seeking to find and give comfort to others walking the journey of baby loss. She will support Three Little Birds by going bedside to give the gift of infant remembrance portraiture and memory making as a Certified Bereavement Doula.
Licensed Sonographer/Program Sponsor
Glenda supports Three Little Birds' Palliative Care and Pregnancy After Loss Support Programs through her elective 3D/4D ultrasound studio in Pitman, NJ. Additionally, Glenda as served as an executive level volunteer supporting events as well as supporting the development of our bereavement training program for sonographrs/ultrasound technicians.
Three Little Birds is grateful to our local community partners for providing services for supporting our shared mission in supporting perinatal bereavement and advocacy. Below is an overview of our community partners and how we work together to support our community.
Image is Everything Studios
230 N Woodbury Road, Suite C, Pitman, NJ; imageiseverythingstudios.com
Three Little Birds Co-Founder, Desiree Miller and her business partner, Stacy, offer the families in our nest several complimentary or discounted photography services. For families receiving a life-limiting or uncertain fetal diagnosis, Image is Everything offers complimentary maternity session for parents and siblings to bond with their baby as they prepare for their birth. For families continuing their family building journey after loss, Image is Everything offers complimentary "rainbow baby" themed portraits and discounts for maternity and newborn sessions to honor their baby who has passed away, as well as celebrating the newest child coming.
Wondertime 3D/4D Ultrasound Studio
152 S. Broadway, Pitman, NJ; wondertimellc.com
Glenda Barachko and her team at Wondertime have supported the families in our nest since our founding with such compassionate and personalized care. For families under our Palliative Care Program, Wondertime offers families the opportunity to bond with their baby in a non-clinical setting, bring additional family members and friends, as well as provides heartbeat capture bears for families to take home at no charge. For the families in our nest walking the journey of pregnancy after loss, she hosts "Sneak Peek" events quarterly for parents to check in on their little one and have family members join. Families are reassured that everything, is gonna be alright!
Hey Mama Lactation and Perinatal Care
Blackwood, NJ; heymamalpc.com
The mission of Hey Mama LPC is to provide clinical lactation services, as well as postpartum support and care for parents and babies. While using current best practices as recommended by the governing bodies of lactation and postpartum care, Hey Mama LPC provides professional services, expertly and without judgement. Additionally, they work to provide support and education to women of color to reduce breastfeeding and mortality disparities through partnerships and advocacy efforts with other healthcare workers and the community at large. Chelly and her team will support our loss families with lactation suppression and our families pregnant after loss to find the feeding method best for them in welcoming their newest child.
Philadelphia, PA and Southern NJ; noelleslight.org
Noelle's Light delivers financial support to distressed families that are receiving treatment and care following a life-threatening fetal diagnosis. Their efforts are dedicated to uplifting families during their time of need.Treating a fetal diagnosis can cost families thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses that they may not be able to afford. Noelle's Light provides eligible families up to $5,000 in financial assistance.
The TEARS Foundation
The TEARS Foundation provides up to $500 in financial assistance for families facing the unexpected burden of burying or cremating their baby. Additionally, we work with the South Jersey Chapter of TEARS through referrals, sharing resources and supporting each other's events.
Southern New Jersey; kindred-beginnings.com
Lynn and her team of infertility warriors have a family building program to support the one in eight families that have not traditional paths to parenthood. This includes one-on-one mentorship, virtual and in-person support as well as hosting the annual Walk for Hope in April. Lynn also has published a documentary on her personal journey with IVF and supports referrals from our families walking similar journeys.
Today is a Good Day
The mission of Today is a Good Day is to provide personal and financial support for families who experience the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This includes care packages, support events, a podcast and more.
KG Doula Care
Eastern Pennsylvania/Central New Jersey; kgdoulacare.com
Krista Gervon is a full-spectrum doula that provides compassionate care for families experiencing baby loss in Eastern PA and Central NJ. She also co-produced the documentary, Don’t Talk About the Baby, a film that explores the culture of shame and silence surrounding pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and infertility through expert interviews and personal stories, which is used in Three Little Bird's Perinatal Bereavement Training Program.
Across the Spectrum Doula
Southern New Jersey; acrossthespectrumdoula.com
Daniela Natali is a BADT certified Full Spectrum Doula, a certified birth and grievance doula (SBD), a trained birth lactation consultant, and childbirth educator (CBI), DONA trained postpartum doula, and a trained sexual wellness, peer lactation couselor, childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula. She is supporting Three Little Birds with instituting our spanish speaking support group!
Thank you to our corporate sponsors for your support of our mission. The funds received from these corporations are used to support our general operating fund, host fundraising and support events or specific programs and services.
Since 2018, Jefferson Health has served as our exclusive corporate sponsor for our annual Wave of Light which hosts more than 50 families to honor and celebrate their special baby who has passed away. In 2021, Three Little Birds presented Jefferson Health with two Cuddle Cots through our legacy project (Cuddle Cots for Cash), as well as free training through our Perinatal Bereavement Training Workshop. In the spring of 2022, we certified six perinatal clinicians through this program and are currently awaiting CEU certification from Jefferson for our training program!
General Operating Fund Sponsor
Funding from this annual grant supports our general operating fund which allows us to facilitate our services and programs virtually and in-person. Gotta have a WaWa!
Our friends at Float Haven have been our biggest supporters from day one! They allow us to take over their tranquil space for the day to host our Bereaved Mother's Day Spa event and offer our families a safe and welcoming space to find healing through various physical, emotional and spiritual modalities. All Three Little Birds families can use the code COMFORT to book services at a 20% discount!
General Operating Fund Sponsor
Three Little Birds is so grateful to be the recipient of this two-year general operating fund grant on behalf of Women's Way, a local grantor focusing on empowering and supporting women in the Philadelphia metro region. This two year grant has allowed us to open an office/meeting space (The Healing Nest) in Blackwood, NJ, and offer additional services and programs, including personal consultations, weekly in-person support groups, specialized support groups, our brick and mortar Etsy store and more!
General Operating Fund Sponsor
Funding from this annual grant supports our general operating fund which allows us to facilitate our services and programs virtually and in-person.
Three Little Birds operates under a fiscal sponsorship with Federation of Neighborhood Centers (FNC) Philly (EIN 23-1630073). This allows us to provide our support to the community under their EIN number, while they manage our fiscal and financial matters. While it is our goal to eventually become our own 501c3 register organization, our focus is supporting the community and this agreement with FNC allows us to do so. We love our friends Jerry, Michael and Adam who support us while we work to further our mission and expand our footprint!