October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Many times when an expecting mom and family lose an infant, they are faced with difficult and emotional choices. Often, the choices are more clinical in nature, such as what procedure they will face and how to go through labor knowing the family will meet their little one in a very bittersweet way.
Loss Doulas are a very helpful option for grieving families. Doula is the Greek term meaning "with women" and aptly so. Doulas can assist mothers and families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum, as well as unexpected loss. No matter when the loss occurs, Loss Doulas are there for not only the grieving mother but the entire family with needed resources. Doulas can assist families by arranging a photographer for photos if wanted, a memory box with baby's footprint and lock of hair. Loss Doulas can also help with funeral arrangements. Most importantly, a Loss Doula is trained to help a family during this difficult time. Many Loss Doulas offer free services and work with other resources in the community who donate their services as well. When confronted with a loss, whether in early pregnancy, birth or after, the option of having an advocate for the grieving mother and family should be an option readily available.
Labor of Love is available to support your access to grief counseling. A resource sheet for perinatal grief is available online through our Lovelace Spirit of Women page. To contact Lovelace Labor of Love for additional support and resources, please call 505.727.7677. We are here for you.
Kristin Dawe, Doula, Community Education Lovelace Women’s Hospital
Catherine Roth CCHW, Lovelace Labor of Love