We're sure, like us, you will admit you know far more about pregnancy and baby loss than you would like to admit. But the truth is, despite millions of families experiencing the multitude of reproductive losses, very little education is researched or provided in the medical community.
We have witnessed experienced doctors, nurses and midwives completely gobsmacked and unable to support a family empathetically and effectively. Its not that they can’t. Its that they aren’t given the tools. That does not go without saying, there are amazing perinatal bereavement professionals and advocates who have supported families successfully for decades who will readily admit, there have been times where, they too, felt they did not have the tools to support this unique grief and circumstances.
That is because, again, no two families experience or cope in the same way. Each family is influenced by more than a dozen factors that impact their grief, decision making and overall experience and become unexpected burdens financially, emotionally and physically.
So, what is the answer if there is no answer? The answer is to keep educating ourselves.
We keep sharing our stories. Keep demanding for better. We can do that by using our voices. The voice our baby never got to have but still rings loud and clear.
This month, we will invoke empathy in two ways – 1. We are going to heal aspects of our loss by putting ourselves in the shoes of our care takers and 2. find an aspect of our loss that has an apparent need that will require the support of further education and support towards medical professionals. Even if it is simply one way to make part of their job easier.
Over the past eight years, we have had a lot of success connecting with the medical community who also see and feel the impact of this lack firsthand looking for ways to be better when these situations arise. They love, honor and respect our babies also, they are just not well equipped on how to deal with the situation or even the resources available to be presented to you. Then many times their hands are tied by red tape that prohibits many from doing what is right, over the almighty dollar….Trust us, we have stories that will curl your toes in anger!
It is our turn to help them. Help us by sharing your story and transmuting that energy into advocacy. Then, watch your baby move mountains. This month at the nest, we will be discussing:
The need for consistent perinatal bereavement training - Statistically, over 25% of families will lose their baby to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss, yet there has not been consistent training provided to medical professionals on how to navigate each unique circumstance. Additionally, bereavement care typically is assigned to one or two individuals and they eventually burn out. Also, if they are not available, families do not receive consistent care or have all options presented to them. This is why Three Little Birds developed our Perinatal Bereavement Training Program. We are equally committed to serving families and the providers that support them.
The importance of being your own health advocate - When grieving or dealing with traumatic health experiences, it can be hard to advocate for yourself and your specific and important needs. What one family may want or need may not be considerable for another family despite shared cultural, religious or personal backgrounds. Understanding your rights as a patient, as a parent and how to ensure you are heard is a big topic for us this month.
What is obstetrical gaslighting? - Obstetrical gaslighting describes a behavior in which a physician or other perinatal professional dismisses or downplays a parent’s physical symptoms or attributes them to something else, such as a psychological condition. This particular type of medical malpractice is especially likely to happen to women, people of color, non-gender conforming parents and LGBTQIA families. This month, we will discuss signs of gaslighting in healthcare and how you can advocate for your own needs.
Support groups and events this month
For access to our groups and events, sign up for our free membership! Links to virtual meetings and in-person group registrations are provided in our monthly newsletter and private Facebook groups only. This month's hybrid schedule includes:
Virtual- September 5 at 6 PM via Zoom - Pregnancy/Parenting after Loss Support with Kristen & Ashly
In-person - September 10 at the Estate at Monroe, Williamstown, NJ - South Jersey Mom & Baby Expo!
In-person - September 11 at 7 PM - 2nd Monday's General Grief Support with Desiree and Nicole (registration required)
In-person - Three Little Birds Day in PA - Rage Room Philly! (registration and event fee applies)
Virtual - September 18 at 6 PM - Termination for Medical Reasons Support Group with Marci
In-person - September 19 at 6 PM at the Nest - Pregnancy/Parenting after Loss Support with Kristen & Ashly
In-person - September 27 at 6 PM at the Healing Nest - Fall Season Craft & Heal (registration and material fee applies)
In-person - September 28 at 6 PM at the Village in Collingswood - Pregnancy/Parenting after Loss Support with Kristen & Sarah Hastings