Why do I want to become a bereavement doula?
According to the course description, the Bereavement Doula training provided by StillBirthday, will prepare me "to offer pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support to mothers giving birth at any point in pregnancy, including fatal diagnosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, and “rainbow/subsequent” pregnancies. [I] will learn how to provide non-clinical, appropriate emotional and physical support as a professional SBD doula."
When I was in the hospital on bed rest for a week prior to delivering our stillborn son Caleb, we received a lot of support from our nurses, a hospital Chaplain and a bereavement counselor. We were not however, visited by a bereavement doula. I really wish that we had been. There are so many things I would have liked to know ahead of time, answers to questions we didn't even know to ask. Taking this training will allow me the opportunity to provide the services to other women that I wish that I had received.
The following is more information on the purpose and need for bereavement doulas from StillBirthday.
-An excited mother meets with her prenatal provider to have her mid-pregnancy ultrasound and determine the gender of her baby. She leaves, totally devastated, as she learns her baby has a condition that isn’t compatible with life outside of the womb.
-A mother experiences heavy bleeding accompanied by heavy cramping. She’s only known she’s been pregnant for a couple of weeks; she hasn’t even seen her provider yet.
-A mother goes into unstoppable labor halfway through her pregnancy.
-A mother labors at 39 weeks, after a totally uneventful pregnancy, anticipating the birth of her live baby, when something tragic suddenly happens in the course of her labor.
What do each of these mothers have in common?
Many things. They are all mothers. They all anticipated giving birth to live children, and their dreams came to a shattering, abrupt, crushing halt.
What is a doula?
Doula is a Greek word, which dates back to biblical usage. According to the New Testament usage, it meant someone who was willing to provide service to someone in need, so that the person in need would learn about Jesus’ sacrifical love.
What do I plan to do with this training?
With this training, I will be prepared to provide one-on-one support to other women experiencing a loss like mine, the hardest loss of all. And I know that with this training, I won't be able to take the pain or situation away, but I can at the very least, make that woman know that she is loved and is not alone.
Losing Caleb has been the most difficult experience in our lives but I want to take this experience and use it to help others, to change the world one grieving mother at a time. It is my wish to take this training and use it to volunteer at the two local hospitals in this rural area of Northeastern North Carolina.
Where will donations I receive go?
$150 is for the actual training which is quite a steal for the opportunity to help someone through such an incredibly painful time in their life.
$5 is for the Pregnancy Loss Doula Handbook, which you can read more about here
$19.95 for one of the required readings during the training, Companioning at a Time of Perinatal Loss: A Guide for Nurses, Physicians, Social Workers and Chaplains in the Hospital Setting
$15 to help cover the additional required reading for the training (I have a choice of several books listed here)