Tuesday, July 03, 2007

If you're in the Ann Arbor area and interested in birth

This is likely to be a very useful program for any caregivers in the birth field or other outreach workers who interact with women of childbearing age. From the e-mail notice I received:

"Perinatal Grief & Loss Support, with Janet Holtz
Thursday, July 5th from 7-9pm
Center for the Childbearing Year

What is the role of the doula and care providers when a mom suffers a newborn loss? How do doulas and care providers navigate this difficult time and provide effective support to moms and families? Janet will talk about understanding grief and newborn loss and effective communication skills during especially sensitive times. She will facilitate role-plays on providing effective support to grieving families. Don't miss this very important presentation!

Janet Holtz is the Founder and Director of Peri-Natal Hospice of Washtenaw and a birth doula. Peri-Natal Hospice is “a non-profit Organization whose mission is to provide comfort, education and support to the families of the unborn who have a condition that is not compatible with life outside the womb.”

Please RSVP by emailing leseliey@center4cby.com or by calling 734-332-8070.

Suggested Donation $10."


Blogger mm said...

Drat... that would have been worth making a plan! Will have to see if I can find someone up here with a similar idea. This would have been a nice seminar to attend... and at the same time I'd have missed the memorial that a mom wanted me to attend.
Hope you write about it, if you attend that is.

7:57 AM  
Blogger doulicia said...

I actually won't be going...just wanted to throw it out there for anyone else who could attend.

The mom's memorial is a more important use of your time at present. I'm glad you can go for her.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a doula and had the opportunity to attend this meeting. The originally-scheduled speaker was actually unable to make it. At the last-minute, a retired midwife of 20 years was recruited to lead the discussion.

It was very good -- she had a lot of experience with birth and death to share, and she answered many questions about perinatal death, both physical and emotional aspects. One thing she said about working as a midwife is that she never expected to learn so much about death.

She emphasized that a loss is a loss, no matter what the circumstances -- how early or late in the pregnancy, how many other births or losses the woman/family has been through. Each individual may have a very different response to this experience, and an individual's response and needs may even change over time. We need to perceive where they are and meet them in that place.

We can also continue to check in with the woman when others in her life have moved on and forgotten the loss, and we can remember her on anniversaries of the event, too.

Another emphasis of the discussion was our role of listening. We need to avoid giving pat answers or trying to point out the good things when a woman really just needs to grieve and have someone acknowledge the pain that she is going through during or after such a loss. It is important to help them not to blame themselves, though.

Lastly, it's okay to cry with a client under these circumstances. It can be nearly impossible to keep that distanced professionalism we sometimes strive for, and grieving with her may even feel more appropriate, depending on the situation.

12:04 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...

Thank you so much, Anonymous, for leaving a recap of the evening. I wonder if Merilynne was the substitute presenter? I went to a program she led several years ago on Pregnancy Loss. It was so helpful and stressed many of the same points you mention.

I was glad I had my notes from her talk when my clients' child was stillborn last year.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Kneelingwoman said...

Hello Janet: I'm a practicing midwife in Ferndale; my own blog is close to the root ( if you would like to take a look ) and I am also back at University persueing a combined Degree program in Religious Studies/Hospice followed by an MA.in Community Counseling. Having lost two of my own infants--one 6 hours post birth at home and another at 10 months from the same, genetic neuromuscular disorder ( we also have three, older healthy children and a little girl, born between the two lethally affected boys, with spina bifida--I have developed a deep desire and calling to move my work from homebirth ( exclusively ) into the area of pregnancy/birth support and perinatal hospice/counseling....I would be most interested in any help you might give me. I can be reached at my blog or at Kneelingwoman@wowway.com I wish I had seen this post earlier; I would happily have attended your event. Thank you.

6:12 PM  

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