Peer support parents, Loss Doulas, or other advocates who have had losses, or who worked closely with parents who have, can be of great support to you from the earliest of moments after receiving the devastating news. Consider asking for them immediately. The staff should have a list or group they could call on your behalf. You may wish to have someone who understands what is to happen and who has the medium and long-term perspective that you don’t have yet. You can decide how long they stay with you during the labor, birth and time with your sweet baby. This is a perfect time to consider having a Baby Loss Doula contact you or you contact her.
Baby Loss Doulas (BLDs)
A new frontier has begun
This has been developed by parent advocate, loss professionals, Sherokee Ilse and Dr. Patricia Flynn with the assistance of a wonderful advisory team. Loss Doulas International is a certifying body for companion/advocates called Baby Loss Doula™ or Perinatal Loss Doula™
These well trained Independent Loss Doulas have experience and wisdom that can be of significant help to you right now. They may be available in person or by phone/email. Visit the website to Locate A Baby Loss Doula. www.LossDoulasInternational.com
Be aware that there are some programs which offer a few classes and a few books to read. With such little preperation and limited indepth background and training, it may become difficult to gain respect from professionals. It may also be important to really understand the tremendous resources and support that parents need at this time. So do some homework before you seek help or look into becoming a Baby Loss Doula yourself. Ask lots of questions.
BLDs make a commitment to help parents to minimize regrets, maximize memories, and honor the sacred journey of each loved baby.
The Certification and Training Program (23 hours) has been developed for well-healed bereaved parents/family members as well as doulas, childbirth educators, birth professionals, and others with a heart to help. They are screened and work hard to receive their certification.
Every community needs well-prepared, compassionate advocates who act as loss companions to offer continuous care to bereaved parents from the time of the news through the early days and weeks of grieving.
Loss Doulas are trained to help with miscarriage, stillbirth, and other early infant deaths. More information can be found at www.LossDoulasInternational.com (LDI). If they are certified by LDI, these independent, well-trained, and well-read Baby Loss Doulas (BLD) can talk you through what is likely to happen, how to make the most of it, and even walk you through creating a Birth Preferences Plan. Some can be by your side, if you wish, prior to birth and/or during your hospital experience. They know resources and know how to help. Most have had their own losses and/or have extensive experience helping families like you. This service may be through your hospital or offered by doulas or community members. Some ask for a donation, if you find the service valuable, others are able to offer it for free. NO Baby Loss Doula will turn you away. Everyone is committed to get you help and support. To find a BLD, ask your own doula, your hospital, or visit the website under Locate a Loss Doula.
You may download two Loss Doula brochures here (link temporarily now working).
1. Loss Doula™ -- for staff and others who want to know what Loss Doulas are and what they do.)
2. Parent brochure – for staff, family and friends to hand to newly bereaved parents inviting them to use this service. The brochure explains the whys behind choosing a Baby Loss Doula™ or Postpartum Loss Doula™.