When our baby, Lucy Rose, died in utero at 35wks, the nurse who was prepping me for Csection said she knew a bereavement doula who could come in and spend time with us afterwards. I had never even heard of a bereavement doula, but I’d said I wanted to bathe and dress the baby, and she told me Heather did all kinds of neat and special things like that, and she would give her a call. After the birth, Heather Bradley came to our room and she just brought so much comfort and love with her! :). Her smile, warmth, compassionate care and humor just changed everything. Doula means “woman’s friend”, and she was my strong friend and advocate who stayed by my side that day, probably the hardest day of my whole life, and not only that she has continued to be a friend and close advocate for our family ever since. As to the things she did, she took gorgeous pictures of Lucy that I will cherish forever, helped us bathe Lucy’s body and dress her, made the sweetest little name bracelet, helped us pick out a hat and blanket, gave us a remembrance box full of precious memory items I would come to cherish later (at the time it was all a blur and I hardly realized it all, but Heather knew what she was doing). She gave us books and a teddy bear for our boys and befriended them....she came into a heartbreaking time and made it full of sweet memories and laughter and joy and shared fun and rejoicing. Hard to believe it could be that way at the death of a baby but that is how it happened. She was like a long lost friend who showed up at just the right moment and has been there for me and my family ever since, throughout the grief process. Heather stayed with me for the rest of the day, until late in the evening, and we talked and talked and she helped me begin to walk this path and showed me the way to go. I knew in my heart what i wanted for Lucy, but would not have been able to do any of those things without Heather’s help, especially since I was recovering from a Csection, and she went far above and beyond anything I could ever have thought of. Not only did she do all the memory making things with us and Lucy, she also set up a Meal Train to get my friends and church community connected with us so we could get the help we needed. She guided us in funeral preparation (when we were ready for that), and connected us with the help and organizations to pay for and arrange Lucy’s funeral (and later her gravestone). She worked with the hospital and funeral homes to help us make arrangements to take Lucy’s body home with us and to the funeral home ourselves, which we never would have even thought of. We had never heard that this was a legal option, but once we decided that was how we wanted to honor our baby and care for her, Heather was willing to move mountains for us to make it happen. Heather also attended the funeral Mass at our church, and was one of only two people outside my immediate family to attend the viewing (besides the funeral director and our priest). She has even brought us food herself, and visited, and has continued to help and send comfort and healing our way anytime she sees an opportunity to do so. She is the founder of this organization, Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas, and she truly has a heart to help and care for families like mine who have experienced this awful heartbreak. More than that she has become my friend and helper on this journey in this new place of loss, which doesn’t seem so hard now I know I have friends like her and don’t have to walk the path alone. The organization she founded (she trained all the doulas personally) is truly worthy and I believe they are doing families in Pittsburgh a great service. They deserve all the help and support they can get, because they are truly doing something worthwhile that helps people and goes above and beyond to meet people in their worst hour of need and grief.
Heather is a committed and passionate doula providing support and a very needed service for the grieving families in Pittsburgh. She is open and a willing team player, seeking to do what’s best for the family and collaborating with the other healthcare team.
Heather and Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas provide such an important service to our community. As a nurse, I am so thankful to have this support for our families at the hospital who are experiencing a loss. Though I try to sit with them and support them as much as I can, I have another laboring person to care for as well. The people at the hospital who have been supported by Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas receive such a high level of attention and care that is vital at this time in their lives.
Heather and her team are angels on earth. They help individuals and families through the toughest trials of their lives with grace and ease. Their support goes well beyond a five star rating.
Pittsburgh bereavement dollars is a wonderful organization. The event I attended with them was absolutely beautiful and touching.
This group steps in where the hospital stops providing care, and supports families in their most difficult times. I wish more people knew about their services! They are so accommodating to families in all sorts of difficult situations, without any biases.
I am a bereavement doula and the work PBD does is amazing. They touch families all over Pittsburgh with their hands on support. They capture moments of parents parenting their angel babies one last time, and they help them plan for the weeks, months, and years afterwards.
The bereavement doulas are a great resource and assistance in moments of great despair and grief. I lost my son before I knew about them and I so wish I had their guidance on what to do and what to expect from going home with no baby.
This organization is a brilliant creation and beloved resource in our area providing exceptional bereavement care to families experiencing the loss of a child. Their care comes from the heart and this is exactly what these families need at such a difficult time.