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Three Little Birds launches new resource package for perinatal loss families!

As part of Three Little Bird's ongoing commitment to ensuring the consistent and equitable access of resources for perinatal loss families in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region, we are excited to announce the launch of our newest resource package for hospitals through our Bedside Bereavement Program!

Challenges we have faced:

Having worked closely with both perinatal providers and families over the past eight years, we have discovered some common pitfalls in the resources being provided to families bedside. This is because:

  • Printed resources with specific details need to be updated and vetted on a consistent basis, otherwise, the contact information, dates and details for support contacts, groups or events change leaving parents with a "dead end" in seeking support.

  • This is also impacted through digital information shared online with the same information not consistently updated and vetted.

  • The cost of printing/reprinting resources to keep up with the constant updates has become wasteful and confusing for providers in knowing which information is the most current.

  • Most all resources are provided to families in English with several other language barriers are met by families feeling misunderstood and unsure of where to go for support postpartum.

Solutions we have found:

To remedy some of the common challenges we have experienced and learned from patients and providers, Three Little Birds has developed a more simplified system for families to have access to the information they need without feeling overwhelmed. This includes:

  • Printed resources (four individual documents) that gently support families walking the journey of loss during specific phases, i.e., notification of loss, considering bonding, memory making and photography, postmortem testing considerations and disposition options and postpartum support. These resources have a QR code that takes the user back to Three Little Bird's website, where the information is updated routinely so they never meet any "dead ends".

  • Our website is updated regularly with resources to help offset financial burdens, access to mental health providers and postpartum consultants and more.

  • By reducing the amount of specific information on the printed resources, we can offer our printed packages to hospitals or providers at no cost with little maintenance and organization required on behalf of staff.

  • To help bridge the gap for families experiencing communication barriers, our printed resources are provided in five languages to accommodate the growing, diverse populations that represent the families in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region. This includes English, Spanish, Haitian creole, Portuguese and French.

Additional resource updates

Additionally, for users who find our nest of support after discharge, or who were unaware of our services, they can also benefit from our updated revised resources. The goal of this update was to meet each family where they are in their loss journey, with information specific to their needs, including:

  • At the time of loss - The first moments, days and weeks after receiving this earth shattering news is unlike any experience most have had in the past. The loss of a pregnancy/baby shakes you to your physical, emotional and spiritual core. This section focuses parents on what they need to focus on in meeting their baby and the few immediate considerations they may need to make.

  • Bonding/Photography - The thought of bonding, making memories with and photographing a baby who has passed away is as impossible as it sound. No one ever imagines having to consider these options at any moment in pregnancy. This section of our site encourages parents to make the most of the moments they have with their child in ways that are meaningful to them culturally, spiritually, religiously and personally. It is our goal to provide families with a gallery of gently edited photographs to cherish of these moments.

  • Autopsy, burial and cremation options - Again, having to make considerations for a baby's postmortem testing or final disposition is not anything a parent could ever fathom having to do. However, for many families, they experience unexpected financial burdens associated with these options. Our site is being updated regularly to include compassionate providers and access to organizations and resources with financial gifts that can alleviate these stressors.

  • Postpartum care - Unfortunately, the birthing parent still experiences a postpartum healing period that is complicated by grief, hormonal changes and other factors, many of which cannot be anticipated. We work with postpartum providers locally to support parents through this complex transition home from the hospital and back into a new routine focusing on postpartum wellness and care. Many of these providers accept insurance or provide their service at no cost.

  • Healing from loss - For both parents, the aftermath of loss and their healing could look radically different. Additionally, this is an experience most are having for the first time and there is no "rule book" for how to manage grief and life afterwards. This section of our website focuses on connecting families to the local perinatal loss community as it relates to their personal journey. This includes resources specific to infertility, palliative care, stillbirth, miscarriage, NICU loss and pregnancy after loss. We also are updating our resources regularly as it relates to supporting non-birthing parents, siblings, grandparents and other loved ones who are deeply mourning the same loss.

Future goals

It is our hope that our updated resource package can add value to local healthcare provider's support for perinatal loss families in bridging that gap. This includes:

  • Offering training for local medical professionals and advocates on how to communicate these resources, how to ensure they are accessible to all and collaboratively updated

  • Launch an app to help streamline the updates and connect families directly to each other through peer matches.

  • We are currently collecting short letters or words of encouragement from the loss parents in our nest to produce a small book to encourage families to reach out through telling their individual story and validating the parent's loss experience. This will offer loss families a familiar face to reach out to who speaks their language, had a similar loss experience or lives directly in their community.

  • Offer specific virtual and inperson support options to alleviate the burdens of travel, childcare and other accessibility issues.

Interested in incorporating Three Little Birds updated resources as part of your existing or new bereavement program? Reach out to us for more information!

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