A native Pittsburgher residing in O’Hara Township, on ancestral land of the Seneca culture, and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Heather has spent the last 20 years serving women as a labor and postpartum doula and is also the founder of Pittsburgh Doula Network, a postpartum doula service. In 2016, a dear friend and repeat postpartum client lost her second child, Madeline, to stillbirth. After witnessing the profound loss and grief, her eyes were opened to the silent tragedies women and families were experiencing all around her and how ill equipped most people, including herself, were in handling it.
“Although I had been a birth worker for 20 years, I realized I knew practically nothing about perinatal loss. A lot of the things I thought I knew were wrong. I wanted to know what quality bereavement care meant, what the research said, and find a way to open up this taboo topic of babies dying because families were suffering greatly- and silently. When someone you care about is going through the worst possible tragedy, you want them to be getting the best help and know how you can be a good friend to someone who has been forever changed by the loss of their baby. I wanted to provide quality care and start with making these births special and help parents create their child’s legacy.”"
~ Heather Bradley
The idea of providing free labor and postpartum doula care was her immediate response to serving these families. After devoting time to research and education, Heather became proficient in perinatal loss support and launched Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas in August 2018. She is trained through Resolve Through Sharing by Marie Walter, as a perinatal bereavement coordinator and trainer, and through Baby Loss Family Advisors /Baby Loss Doulas, having found a wonderful mentor and friend in Sherokee Ilse. She is also certified as a Pregnancy Loss Group Facilitator through The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death.
In her free time, she loves planning her next adventure with Andrew, cooking and baking bread, crafting, reading non-fiction, and gardening.
A transplant from Guildford, England, and alumnus of Cambridge University, Andrew brings the perspective of a father’s loss. Employed at Google for the past 10 years as a senior engineer keeps him in front of a computer all day, but he takes every opportunity to hike in the woods, wander looking for geocaches, play bridge, and bake bread.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Lily Johnson graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Management from UNC Charlotte. Following her passion to help women on their journey through motherhood, Lily became a Stillbirthday-certified birth and bereavement doula and has worked in birth, bereavement, and postpartum settings for almost 5 years. After moving back to Pittsburgh in March 2018 and making connections in the Pittsburgh birthworker community, Lily and Heather Bradley met, allowing the budding bereavement doula concept to bloom. Having a very nurturing and reassuring presence, Lily believes in supporting people under any circumstance and that providing compassionate support to individuals is a vital piece in coping with trauma. She feels truly honored to be assisting families through this season of their lives.
In addition to her labor and postpartum doula work, Lily helps new parents as a midwifery assistant and placenta encapsulator. In her free time, Lily enjoys walking her dog, creating art, and exploring Pittsburgh.
As a Pittsburgh native and women’s health care provider, Julie is excited and honored to support the Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas Organization.
She currently works as a full-scope Certified Nurse Midwife at the regionally well-known Midwives at Magee practice at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Julie knows first hand the importance of doulas' support in serving women and families in bereavement. Her interest in Women’s Studies was piqued at the University of Wisconsin - Madison for her Bachelor’s in Science. After moving back to Pittsburgh, she attended the Shadyside School of Nursing of UPMC and has been at Magee in women’s’ health arena ever since. She pursued her Masters in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University and was certified in Midwifery while balancing working full time and also starting a family. Julie has been a midwife since 2010. She loves working with a range of women and families, including underserved and immigrant populations and those dealing with medically complicated complicated or difficult mental, physical, and social issues.
She has two spunky daughters and a hardworking, loving husband and lives in the Fox Chapel area. In her spare time, Julie loves to spend time in her kitchen, cooking and baking. She relieves stress with yoga and being outdoors and enjoys needlepoint crafts and reading.
Jean Stone is an obstetrical and newborn nurse at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and has a B.S. in Quantitative Business Analysis from Penn State University, an A.S. in Nursing from Community College of Allegheny County and B.S.N. at Penn State.
In 2012, after a career as a systems analyst, she went to nursing school with the express purpose of becoming a labor and delivery nurse. She found her dream job and has the privilege of taking care of women and babies before, during, and after delivery. Jean discovered along the way that she has a special affinity for women and families experiencing high-risk pregnancy complications and loss. She is honored to be on the board of Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas.
Jean lives in Aspinwall, PA with her husband, Bruce, and three daughters who make her proud every day.
Grace is an obstetrician/gynecologist with a specialty in Family Planning, on faculty at West Penn Hospital. She got her BA at Johns Hopkins University, her MD at Jefferson Medical College and completed her residency and fellowship training at UPMC Magee Womens Hospital. She received her Masters in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Grace is passionate about reproductive rights and justice, including compassionate care of pregnancy loss of all types.
In her free time, Grace is a Crossfitter, loves to cook and eat, travel with her husband, cuddle with her dogs. Grace is also a bereaved parent of her stillborn son, Maeby, born in October 2018. Recently, Grace gave birth to her daughter, Lyra, in October 2020!
An obstetrician-gynecologist explains why a new bereavement leave policy for city employees will help those facing pregnancy loss [Click here to listen.]
Kristin is a licensed funeral director who is passionate about offering care and support to bereaved families, offering her professional advice and services to Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas from day one. In addition to owning a conventional funeral home, she founded Natural Funeral Company in 2014 to provide support and education for home funerals. As a strong advocate for choices in death care, Kristin feels honored to partner with Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas in their Hugs at Home program as a co-founder.
Kristin is a native of Butler County and has a BA in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Verona with her partner, Charlie, two dogs, and an active toddler. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, beekeeping and creative projects.
"In modern society, so many are disconnected from experiencing the power of life’s most intense thresholds, the power of birth and death. So many women never witness childbirth until it is directly upon them, until they themselves are in labor. Death, like, birth, is often cordoned off into anonymous hospital rooms. Yet much wisdom exists in directly witnessing the transformative energies present in these thresholds."
– Amy Wright Glenn