Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula Training Review
I was a labor doula who supported happy births for over five years. I never really left the birth world despite making a career change. After losing my own baby in 2010 to miscarriage, my path completely changed and I wanted to focus on helping families through the loss of their baby no matter what the trimester.
I met Heidi Faith (founder of Stillbirthday) online after I published the book All That is Seen and Unseen; A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage. I had been helping families through miscarriage after publishing my book but it was mostly through email and over the phone. Once the book was out there, women reached out to talk. Here is a review of the training.
As a labor doula, I was certified by CAPPA and DONA. Both of these organizations certify labor doulas. I am currently a CAPPA certified Childbirth Educator. The training received by these organizations will give you all you need to work as a labor doula.
The training with Stillbirthday, gives you training on how to be a labor doula but it also goes beyond live birth and teaches you how to support a family during birth in any trimester, when the baby is no longer alive or expected to survive. Depending on the circumstance, the trimester the family delivers in may be met with certain death or NICU time for the baby. A baby may already have been deceased or the baby may die during the birth process or shortly following birth.
There are many unexpected outcomes during birth that go beyond the client getting an epidural and the snowball effect taking place. As a labor doula, wouldn’t you want to be prepared for any of these events? If you were hired early in the pregnancy and your client suffers an early loss, wouldn’t you want to have the knowledge to help her instead of just terminating the client/doula relationship because the baby died?
There are other organizations which train in bereavement. Baby Loss Family Advisors (formerly Loss Doulas International by Sherokee Ilse. I am hopeful that there will be training in Denver, Colorado so that I can attend and be dual certified as a bereavement doula but until then, I can only comment on the training I received with Stillbirthday. Hearthside Perinatal Bereavement Care is another.
I remember struggling with my decision to take the training and how Heidi helped me navigate all my fears. [Visit this link to hear more about this] My biggest fear was if I could handle being in the room with the family when the baby was born silent. Would I break down and cry or be stoic? What was the right way to act? I took the training anyway thinking that if I were ever called, I didn’t have to go and almost never expected to help a family beyond some phone and email support.
And then it happened, I was called. And I was excited even though I was scared and sad. The emotions you feel during this time is overwhelming. Excitement, fear, anxiety, love, and hope. Then you get there and as you extend your arms to embrace the family, you can’t hold back the tears. A few sneak through as you help them navigate this scary and emotional place.
And then the moment happens…their baby, the one they have been expecting for months, is born in silence. The only sound in the room are usually quiet sobs. The baby is usually limp and most look perfectly “normal,” even if they are born early. And then the question in your mind appears, the same question everyone has. Why?
As a Stillbirthday Birth and Bereavement Doula, you will know and understand that families don’t always find out why and even if there is an answer, it may not bring the peace the family was hoping for. Don’t you want to know these things and be aware? I know you do. So, if you are contemplating the training, stop hesitating. It’s time.
– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage
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