"You may have heard the words “I’m sorry, but we cannot find the heartbeat.” You may be experiencing the impending birth of your beloved baby not alive. You might have been told that your precious one has a fatal diagnosis. Whatever is happening right now, whatever you have been told about your baby, your situation, or the medical recommendations given, right now, may you take a pause.
Get into some comfortable clothing. Pour yourself a cool glass of water. Take some slow, deep, relaxing breaths.
Right now, you are still pregnant.
And no matter what the next moments, days or weeks may bring, you are still a mother.
And you always will be." -stillbirthday.com
What is a SBD bereavement doula?
Stillbirthday Birth & Bereavement Doulas® (SBD) provide support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester. SBD doulas are both birth doulas, and bereavement doulas.
The SBD doula is uniquely qualified to provide support in situations of fatal diagnosis, carrying to term, and NICU care. SBD doulas are equally prepared to provide comprehensive support in live birth outcomes, including subsequent “rainbow” pregnancies, and can serve as a labor support in all birth situations.
SBD Doulas align with the most up-to-date and best practice guidelines for all perinatal professionals as an allied member of the healthcare team, to include publications such as:
Guidelines for Health Care Professionals Supporting Families Experiencing a Perinatal Loss.
Your SBD doula submitted a letter of intent to provide birth and bereavement support, has studied through a rigorous 8 week collegiate level training, has passed with an 80% or higher on each weekly exam, has read and reviewed two books relating to pregnancy, birth and child loss, has completed an investigative assignment in her community, and is knowledgeable in these subjects and more:
- the physiological process of childbirth
- how childbirth is different and similar in trimesters
- the importance of birth order and how it is impacted by loss
- how to support a mother in labor in any trimester and in any outcome
- how to help a mother build a birth plan, particularly in an expected live birth outcome or carrying to term
- how to provide immediate support when establishing a relationship prior to the birth isn’t possible (such as unexpected pregnancy loss)
- how to preserve the fleeting moments the family has with their miscarried or stillborn baby
- how to incorporate personal wishes, extended family and siblings in the birth experience
- Your SBD doula is a traditional birth doula, and a highly skilled bereavement doula. All in one
What does a bereavement doula do?
The SBD doula is the standard of excellence.
The SBD doula is equipped to serve in all birth experiences. Similar to live birth outcomes, an SBD doula can serve through the duration of labor, can identify sources of dystocia and can offer support in navigating the labor journey.
At birth, the SBD doula can help facilitate bonding, which is different from attachment. Answering questions to what is “normal”, how much “permission” each family member has in exploring their curiosities and feelings, and validating to the family are huge responsibilities immediately after birth that the SBD doula excels at. This we call the season of the Welcoming. And, the SBD doula begins to sense and can help facilitate the transition into the season of the Farewell. Having created keepsakes, creative and/or traditional momentos, assistance with photos and/or a photographer, the doula can speak in an appropriate way to the family about the extremely difficult stretch of the journey which includes their giving a professional provider the permission to have the physical form of their baby for burial or cremation.
The average time an SBD doula might spend with a family at birth is approximately 8 hours. The SBD doula can also offer postpartum support in at least one to several postpartum visits, including attending the formal farewell if the family desires. Because the SBD doula supports all birth, providing doula support for subsequent, live-birth pregnancies can also be an extremely validating, healing, meaningful and joyful experience for the family.
The above text was taken directly from the SBD website. You can find the article here
What will your time with a bereavement doula look like?
Well Nested Bereavement Doulas provide parent's experiencing loss with a individualize care. We will come along side you and your family to decide what options fit your needs best. Options look like as follows
- 1-2 Prenatal visits
- Private childbirth education
- Birth wishes
- Postpartum wishes
- Email and/or phone support for up to 1 year postpartum
- Birth and immediate postpartum support
- At least 3 postpartum visits
- List of local resources
- Funeral homes
- Community Support
- Online Resources
What is the cost?
We know that a family is never prepared for the loss of a pregnancy or infant, which is why we never charge our families for bereavement support. If you are a bereaved family that we have supported or just want to give back to these families, we encourage you to visit our donation portal below. When you make a donation to the Well Nested Bereavement Scholarship Fund you are helping us compensate our doulas for the time they put into serving bereaved families. To show our gratitude, you will be added to our Thank You page.