A bereavement doula helps with death and dying, and our specific program is meant for miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. A bereavement doula is someone who helps women with miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. I recently became a bereavement doula for a special couple. I started out as a childbirth educator teacher for this couple (I'll give them fake names for this article) name Marion and Michael B. They were the sweetest couple it seemed when we met online. We only had one class and Marion went into labor like the very next day and had her baby! I was excited for them. The baby was a preemie, so their baby boy stayed in the hospital for some time - I think it was a good month to 6 weeks. Anyway, he finally got to go home and they baptized him on a Marian feast day. Well, this little baby died of unknown causes within a week of his baptism day. I was broken-hearted. I reached out and offered any thing I could as a bereavement doula. We talked for a bit and answered any questions they had about their loss.
Why become a bereavement doula? To help couples have someone to lean on during a trial of their life and know that there is hope. To just be there and hold space for bereavement. We also can be information centers. One question they asked me right away - How to stop the breastmilk flow.... however, some mamas decide to continue pumping milk for a time to donate the milk to a milk bank to help other babies. I think this is the best gift you can give. However, if the couple is not interested in this option - then I give them resources on how to stop breastmilk naturally. Anyway, this is a good example of what a bereavement doula can do and help with. We also can help with funeral arrangements and making sure the couple gets fed - start up a meal train can be helpful during a time of loss.
For Valentine's month, I am offering a $100 discount on our bereavement doula course with print book option, please read more about our class here: Bereavement updated to register. This discount is good thru February 29, 2024.
Juliana Larsen is the author of the Catholic Doula Blog.