"If we can’t feel into the heart of grief, we can’t truly move on to experience hope and joy. We can’t be present to what is now, and what is next, because we are bound by the loss and sorrow that holds us to the past. Grief has to flow. It has to be carried, not just by you, but by the others with you, by your community, until it transforms to the next rightful calling of your heart to action."

– Sharon Weil, ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change

The love for your baby doesn’t end with their life. Neither does their story.

Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas exists to support grieving parents following the loss of a pregnancy or an infant. We help create a space where parents and their loved ones can mourn and celebrate the lives of their children across their spectrum of need — from assisting with immediate practical decisions to providing ongoing physical and emotional care.

We’re here because we’ve seen first-hand that often when help is most needed, fear throws up a barrier. We’re here to tear down that wall and lead others to join us in compassionate care and hope.

A note from our Founder and Executive Director...

For more than 20 years, it’s been my joy as a birth doula to be present at the arrival of 200+  babies. It’s a privilege to partner with families as they welcome the newest member of their families.

Unfortunately, not all pregnancies end in joy. I believe, however, that all pregnancies should bring blessing. Feeling helpless as a witness to the suffering of loss among clients, friends and family, I decided to find answers to the questions no one wants to ask:

  • What do you say to the very pregnant person who knows her baby  will die shortly after birth?
  • Who will help create mementos of the loved and wanted baby whose life was compassionately ended because it had a condition incompatible with life?
  • What do you do when you’re the only support for the person who is miscarrying — even before they had the opportunity to announce their pregnancy?
  • How do you comfort the parents who excitedly arrive at the hospital because labor has finally begun, only to be told the baby does not have a heartbeat?

Along the way, I’ve realized that not only do our friends and families struggle with these questions, our medical professionals do too.

I founded Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas to serve those experiencing loss, to educate and inspire those providing their care and to change the way our society interacts with these families.

Together, we will remove the stigma of loss.

~ Heather Bradley

Baby Hands

"When we develop secure attachments with with people we serve, we prevent isolation and hopelessness and integrate the dying and the bereaved into a world of meaningful connections that are affirmed. Secure attachments increase trust in ourselves, in others, and in the caregiving process."

-Papadatou, 2009