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#3 The More You Know... October 2023 Edition

#3 The More You Know...

...the better Birth Justice advocate you can be. Here's CVD's monthly list of terms to help you improve your knowledge of terms used in our birthing community.

3 The More You Know

What is a Grief Doula? - A Grief Doula is a relatively new concept in the field of end-of-life and bereavement care. The term "doula" originally comes from the Greek word for "a woman who serves," and it has been traditionally used to describe a trained companion who provides emotional and physical support to expectant mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. In recent years, the concept of a doula has expanded to include support for various life transitions, including grief.

A Grief Doula is a compassionate and trained professional who offers emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical support to individuals and families experiencing grief and loss. Their primary role is to help people navigate the complex and often overwhelming process of grieving. Here's what a Grief Doula does:

Emotional Support: Grief Doulas provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their emotions and feelings related to their loss. They offer a listening ear, empathy, and companionship during a challenging time.

Education: Grief Doulas may educate the bereaved on the normal stages and experiences of grief, helping them understand that everyone's grief journey is unique and there is no "right" way to grieve.

Ritual and Ceremony: They assist in creating meaningful rituals and ceremonies to honor the deceased, which can aid in the healing process. This may include funeral planning, memorial services, or other personal commemorations.

Practical Support: Grief Doulas may provide practical assistance, such as helping with paperwork, organizing support groups, or connecting individuals with appropriate resources and professionals.

Coping Strategies: They offer coping strategies and self-care techniques to help people manage their grief and reduce emotional and physical distress.

Accompaniment: Grief Doulas are often present during difficult moments, such as when a loved one is in hospice care or during the dying process. They offer comfort and support during these times.

Long-term Support: Grief doesn't have a fixed timeline, and Grief Doulas can provide ongoing support as needed, even months or years after the loss. They help individuals adapt to life without their loved ones and find a new sense of normalcy.

It's important to note that Grief Doulas are not licensed therapists or counselors, and they do not provide clinical mental health treatment. Instead, they complement the services of mental health professionals by offering a more holistic and empathetic approach to the grieving process. Their role is to provide emotional and practical guidance to help individuals and families navigate their unique grief journeys with as much comfort and support as possible.

Placenta -pla·cen·ta /pləˈsen(t)ə/ noun

* The placenta is an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby.

Station – sta·tion /ˈstāSH(ə)n/ noun

* fetal station in labor and delivery– Fetal station refers to how far a baby’s head has descended into your pelvis. Stations range from -5 to +5, with 0 station meaning the head is aligned with your ischial spines.

Uterus - u·ter·us /ˈyo͞odərəs/ noun

* the organ in the body of a woman or other female mammal in which a baby develops before birth.

Transmisogyny-trans·mis·og·y·ny /ˌtran(t)sməˈsäjənē,ˌtranzməˈsäjənē/ noun

* Dislike or unfair treatment of transgender women (=women who were not said to be female at birth)

Sex Positivity -/seks-poz-i-tiv-i-tee/ noun

* An openness and nonjudgmental approach to embrace a diversity of sexual expression.

Join us next month for our next set of resources. Have ideas? Let us know what you'd like to know more about; stay on top of your learning by joining our email list!


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