(Only Available in The State of Michigan, at this time)
Birth & Bereavement Doulas® (SBD) provide support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester. SBD are both birth and bereavement doulas.
The SBD is uniquely qualified to provide support in situations of fatal diagnosis, carrying to term, and NICU care. SBD 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.
Your SBD 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 at a minimal 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 the loss
- How to support a mother in labor in any trimester and in
- 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 is a traditional birth doula, and a highly skilled bereavement. All in one.
At birth, the SBD 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 excels at. This we call the season of the Welcoming. And, the SBD begins to sense and can help facilitate the transition into the season of the Farewell. Having created keepsakes, creative and/or traditional assistance, with photos and/or a photographer, the 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 might spend with a family at birth is approximately 8 hours. The SBD 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 supports all births, providing support for subsequent, live-birth pregnancies can also be an extremely validating, healing, meaningful and joyful experience for the family.