How to be a Miscarriage Doula

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Please view the Pregnancy Loss Doula Handbook for a more thorough explanation of services.

If you are interested in supporting families through birth & bereavement, here are some ideas for how to offer support to a family:

The same rules apply as being a birth or postpartum doula.  No medical advice is given, and suggestions should be in compliance with the medical provider.

Know that even full term stillbirth delivery can be different than live birth.  Please visit our article on birth education, and add any resources or ideas that you may have.

Prior to Birth

Support prior to birth could include any of the following:

  • listening to the mother and father as they explain their situation
  • listen as they explain the medical options they’ve been given by their medical provider
  • ask if they will have a final ultrasound prior to the birth (you can attend, or you can remind them to ask for a final ultrasound photo)
  • help the parents articulate any medical choices they do have, and
  • you might help them weigh the benefits of each, based on your knowledge
  • helping friends and family find supportive ways to help.  Suggesting they coordinate a Celebrating Pregnancy blessingway is highly recommended (even if it’s after the delivery)

During Birth

Once the family decides on a birth plan, help during the birth in any of the following ways:

  • utilize our birth plans
  • help watch any other children they have, while the mother births her baby (you will decide when it would be appropriate to arrive)
  • bring something tangible as a gift for the mother, perhaps a baby blanket or teddy bear to bring to the hospital, or to hold in the car ride home
  • take pictures of the labor, the birth, the funeral, or the farewell celebration the family chooses- you are not expected to help retrieve the baby if he or she has been delivered into the toilet, and you are not expected to clean up blood
  • write your own account of the birth, and give it to the mother as a momento

After the Birth

After the birth, you can support in any of the following ways:

  • encourage friends and family to provide meals, just as any other birth
  • suggest any positive grieving techniques you may know
  • provide grieving resources (you can visit our bereavement support sections)
  • attend any medical follow-up visits with the mother so she will not be alone
  • listen

There are numbers of ways in which you can help.  I hope this gives you encouragement to provide this much needed service.

If you decide you’d like to add birth & bereavement support to your services, please update your website, and please list your service, to be updated to the site.

Financial Reimbursement

You do not have to provide all of the services listed above.  Each experience is going to be unique, and may only require you to offer very few services.

The cost of your doula services should be at your discretion, but it is highly recommended that these services be provided at no charge to the family, in particular when you do not have experience in offering these services yet.

For reimbursement ideas, consider:

  • An ongoing fundraiser, such as paid advertisement on your website, or connecting with a local company that will give a portion of their sales profits to your company in the name of pregnancy loss support.
  • Having an account for pregnancy loss support that your paying clients can provide donations to.
  • Speaking about your efforts to your local community groups, asking them for fundraising or donation support.
  • Getting assistance in the other areas that your profits would have gone toward: gas station gift card, local baby item shop (or someone who knits baby blankets), free or discounted babysitting for your children while you offer pregnancy loss support.



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