Bereavement Doula – Tasks and Professional Goals

Published: May 15, 2024
Edited by: Team TB

Woman supporting mother after loss of baby

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The term bereavement relates to the experience of losing someone important to us, a process that’s characterized by grief, heartache, and feelings of loss.

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Hence, a Bereavement Doula, sometimes also called “Loss Doula” or “Grief Doula” is a Doula that provides emotional and practical support to families who are experiencing the loss (or looming loss) of their baby.

This loss may have been caused by miscarriage, an induced abortion, or stillbirth, or it will come about soon because of a diagnosis through which it’s become clear that a baby will not live long after birth.

More often than not, Bereavement Doulas are also Birth Doulas or Postpartum Doulas, but you’ll likewise find childbirth educators, nurses, massage and bodywork therapists, community workers, or other professionals who want to help families with baby or infant loss that have specialized themselves as Bereavement Doula.

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There’s some overlap with the profession of an End-of-Life Doula, but the End-of-Life Doula is a professional companion for dying people of all ages (not only for babies and infants), and typically aimed at supporting the dying person and their families.

For parents who know that their baby will not live long it’s especially difficult to deal with both the period that the baby is still alive and at the same time needing to deal with the knowledge that the baby will die soon. The Bereavement Doula guides parents in the process of how to best approach, love and care for their baby for as long as their baby is with them, how to make memories with their baby, how to bond and how to say goodbye, and helps parents in the moments of grief and loss.

Nevertheless, do mind that the profession of Bereavement Doula has increasingly developed into a modality that can serve families throughout various types of grief and loss, such as the loss of a child, partner, or parent, or even the loss of a job, home, or pet.

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