Pregnancy, Fetal, & Infant Loss
Losing a baby is one of the most unimaginable events a family can encounter. Whether you've experienced a failed embryo transfer, a first trimester miscarriage, fetal loss during a preterm labor, stillbirth at term, or the loss of an infant post-birth, we see you and are sending so much love your way.
Even though this period naturally comes with intense feelings of isolation, please know that you are not alone and surrounding yourself with solid support can facilitate your long-term healing immensely. There are more support groups than ever, both in-person and online. Counselors and therapists with expertise in this very specific type of grief exist. And doulas who are trained to work with families during and following fetal or infant loss are available to provide intensive care and ongoing resources. Some of those resources can be found below.
How Your Birth Team Works with Clients Experiencing Loss
We offer families ongoing support via text, email, and calls when loss occurs-this is an included service in our agreements with doula clients. There is no time limit to when clients and past clients may reach out for support, a listening ear, resources, or a walk-through of birth events to understand the timeline from the doula's perspective. There's also zero requirement or expectation for parents to utilize or involve the doula in their care plans after loss.
Additionally, we offer complementary photography services to doula and childbirth education clients experiencing pregnancy or infant loss to ensure precious moments as a family are honored, respected, and remembered.
Our team has also been a supportive participant in many celebrations of life for families who experience loss. Sometimes this looks like attending a wake and funeral service. Other times, we are joining a family at a balloon release, vigil, or other personal ceremony. We are always honored to be invited, but also recognize and validate that some families don't wish for their doula to be a part of their grieving journey in these ways.
Your Birth Team's Doulas are trained and equipped to support families through loss at any stage of our professional relationship. Whether you've just signed on with us months in advance of birth or we've just spent a day or two together in labor, if a pregnancy or baby is lost we encourage you to continue utilizing the doula's services into the postpartum period to maximize your healing and recovery.
Colleagues and friends, Megan & Marlee of Hero Birth Services, have compiled a wonderful list of local resources for Orange County & Long Beach families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. Their list includes funeral services for fetal and infant loss, holistic health practitioners, photography services, and more. They themselves are also bereavement doulas providing virtual support services to families.
Hoag Health has two programs for loss and grief processing around pregnancy and birth. One is for pregnancy and infant loss, and the other is for pregnancy after loss.
There are many great support groups on Facebook. Here's one example of an active group that honors sharing memories and photos of babies who aren't Earthside any longer.
You might not be ready to think about the future just yet. And that's okay. It's okay to not think about the future for as long as you need to just be and cope in the now. When you are ready, there are many beautiful and intimate ways to honor your baby's life and impact they have on your family. Here are just some examples of how other parents celebrate, commemorate, grieve, and remember.