I wasn’t prepared for this to happen.

"Birth is not a beginning; it’s a continuation. That lends tremendous comfort because we then understand that, equally true, death is not an end; it’s merely a continuation."

– Amy Wright Glenn, 2013, Birth, Breath and Dying

If you are reading this, you are experiencing something unexpected and sad. You probably didn’t think this would happen to you, and you aren’t prepared to deal with what is happening to you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You may not have been so intimately involved in death before this.

When your baby dies, you may be at a loss as to what to do next. Our experienced bereavement doulas will support you during the birth of your baby by miscarriage, stillbirth, or life-limiting diagnosis.  They will also guide you through your options, suggest ways to honor and remember your baby, and help you find the support you need afterwards as you grieve.

What services do bereavement doulas offer?


The mission of Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas is to support mothers and their loved ones who are experiencing this loss by providing compassionate guidance through the process of birth, meeting baby for the first time, making the time together meaningful, and saying goodbye.  We want parents to be left with as little regret as possible, given the overwhelming and sometimes immediate situation.

Like a traditional birth doula, they provide physical, emotional and informational support during labor and birth but have special training in perinatal loss. Bereavement doulas will work with parents to honor this birth and help them make decisions based on their unique values, beliefs, and preferences. With realistic optimism, doulas will explain what is happening, what is about to happen, and what could happen. More importantly, they have a passion to work with these families and have hearts full of love for these babies.

"To be lovingly present through the primal, naked pain that marks aspects of birth, and to be lovingly present through the difficult, heart-wrenching ending that marks aspects of death is to learn about life and love. Fear may be strong but love is stronger. Learning how to love includes learning how to make room for and transform fear. Learning how to live involves learning how to die."

– Amy Wright Glenn, 2013, Birth, Breath and Dying

Miscarriage


In Pennsylvania, a pregnancy loss that takes place before 16 weeks gestational age is considered a miscarriage. According to the March of Dimes (2012), miscarriage occurs in about 10-20% of all known pregnancies. Because many losses occur before women realize they are pregnant, as many as 40% of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. Parents who experience an early pregnancy loss have varied feelings and responses.

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Stillbirth


In Pennsylvania, a pregnancy loss that takes place after 16 weeks gestational age is considered a stillbirth. There are nearly 26,000 stillbirths in the US every year. Over half have no known cause. Stillbirth is one of the most unexpected tragedies one can experience. It is important to have someone who understands your feelings and pain. This can be difficult for partners and family because they, too, are grieving, all in very different ways.

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Life-Limiting Diagnosis


When parents learn that their unborn child has fetal anomalies or genetic disorders that are incompatible with life (previously called fatal fetal diagnosis), or that the mother's life is on danger, the decisions they are faced with are some of the hardest they will ever have to make. Often these decisions involve choosing between carrying to term or compassionately terminating the pregnancy (also known as medical interruption or therapeutic abortion).

Learn more..

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can support you or a loved one during perinatal loss or to offer support.

How much does this service cost?

This is a FREE service that we offer to the Pittsburgh community. Families in need of bereavement doulas are under incredible stress. We don't want the services of a doula to add financial stress to an already difficult situation.

We are pleased to be able to offer a free 4D ultrasound if baby has a life-limiting diagnosis. Click here to request more info.

We are a 501(3)(c) organization and are funded primarily through donations, fundraising and in memoriam gifts.

How can I support Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas and the families it serves?

You can make a tax deductible donation right here on our website. You can also choose to make it in honor of a family or in memoriam of a specific child.

There are other ways you can help as well. Click here for more information.