Support During a Stillbirth

“Can you make it come out, please?” “Help me, can’t you make my cervix dilate faster?” These were the agonized pleas from the 19-year-old woman laboring to deliver a stillborn baby. When we entered the room she was on an uncontrolled oxytocin IV drip with no pain management. She was in intense pain. Both physical pain and emotional anguish as she labored alone and frightened, trying to get her dead baby out of her body. A CDI staff member with the Doula Project and two doula students worked with her to try to help ease her pain and deliver her baby.

They brought calm and direction to this terrifying situation. Half an hour later, she birthed a beautiful but lifeless little girl. CDI staff spent meaningful and precious time with this mom for two hours after the birth, helping her process the loss of her child.

She asked them to visit her the next day on the postpartum ward, and when CDI staff came in, her roommate said, “Oh, are these the ladies from last night that you were telling me all about?” then added, “this young woman told me that the most extraordinary ladies helped her with her birth. She told me that they were like angels.”

Childbirth can be beautiful and it can be incredibly painful. CDI staff and students work to support women no matter what the outcome is.