Midwife of Thanatology

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Death is, at best, an uncomfortable subject, and at worse, a terribly frightening thought that most would rather run from.  We have even gone so far as to say that it is normal and right to cast off any conversation, let alone thought or planning about death.  To prepare for this inevitable event is to be thought suicidal or just plain weird.

The truth is, though, that for many bereaved parents, this is the exact treasure we learn and grow from the death of our children: we will live fully, so as to know that our babies at least died well.  We can still purpose life from death, still grow hope and dare I say joy from excruciatingly impossible darkness.

And just as much as stillbirthday enters into the space of birth, providing options, information and resources for the Welcoming, we just as much provide validation, love and support for the Farewell.

While our comprehensively trained and certified SBD Doulas are well equipped to enter into any birth situation in any trimester, including coming alongside you in the places where birth and bereavement meet, to offer their expertise, professionalism, personalized attention and deeply devoted care, there is yet an0ther level of care that we offer here at stillbirthday, the Midwife of Thanatology.

Where an SBD Doula, who is a companion, might not feel he or she might take on a leadership role, an SBD Chaplain, who is a Midwife of Thanatology can offer authoritative support not only in the role of your doula, but also as a chaplain, officiating the farewell celebration that is right for you, and providing tangible support in the burial, cremation 0r other decisions you might make for your family.  He or she is knowledgeable in your right of sepulcher and other relevant laws or policies relating to what farewell options you have.  Visit this page to learn about both roles.

One of our SBD Doulas who owns her own business now, Blessings in the Belly, shared this article relating to “death midwifery“.  The thought of dying well might seem foreign to you, but is a profound and deeply valuable concept.

From the article:

The parallels between birth and death are numerous and remarkable. Like birth, dying is often associated with pain, uncertainty, and fear. In both cases, there is lots of waiting, certain signs occur reliably, and the final timing is not predictable. In neither case are health professionals in control. In death as in birth, patience, kindness, and privacy can make the experience more healing, bringing out more of the good and less of the bad in people. And a health professional with appropriate training and experience can do a lot to help patients and families negotiate both transitions.

This speaks substantially to the benefit of a trained SBD Doula.  Just watch this little video for an even better understanding.  This video, incidentally, was shared to me by one of my clients I had the enormous honor of serving:


If you feel a compassion, an empathy, a desire to connect your love to others, please consider joining our globally recognized comprehensive birth & bereavement doula training and certification.

And if you are already one of our amazing SBD doulas, I encourage you to consider joining our Midwife of Thanatology program, becoming an SBD Chaplain to provide an even more holistic support to the families you serve.


We currently have two wonderful opportunities for registering for our doula training:

  1. An SBD Doula is donating $200 into the doula program in 4 $50 increments as scholarship opportunities on behalf of her beloved children.  Is that not AMAZING?!  Here is her first one.
  2. Register for any 2014 session before the end of 2013 to enter a drawing for a free computer.  No, really.


If you’re already an SBD Doula, check out the Steve Butler scholarship!


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