Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss

Facilitated by Joanne Zerdy, PhD

About the Training:

These 5-hour in-person trainings are specifically geared for those currently working as or studying to be birth/postpartum doulas, bereavement doulas, therapists, midwives, perinatal nurses, family nurse practitioners, obstetricians, lactation consultants, prenatal yoga teachers, hospital chaplains, and end-of-life care professionals. I also encourage bereaved parent activists to join us. Truly, anyone with an interest in the subject is warmly invited to take part.

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Workshop facilitator Joanne Zerdy is a grieving mother and a former university professor in theatre arts who advocates for open, active grieving and for increasing grief literacy and empathy. She teaches on behalf of The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death and in partnership with Inviting Abundance, co-founded by Joanne and her husband Will Daddario. For more on their Creative Grief Work, please go HERE. For details on Joanne’s online Grief Mapping Class, please go HERE.

The training in Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss, as created by Amy Wright Glenn (founder of The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death), guides participants through a heartfelt analysis of three key components central to caring for, supporting, and serving grieving mothers and their families in the immediate aftermath of pregnancy or child loss, which might take the form of a misscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or infant death. This training also thinks ahead, offering ideas for how you can continue to offer compassion and care in the months and years to come.

The Three Key Components of the Workshop:

  • An introduction to the Companioning Model of Care outlined by Alan Wolfelt, Founder and Director of the Center for Loss & Life Transition. This model understands grieving as a healthy, natural process that requires compassion and support and not as a medical condition that needs to be treated or cured.

  • An exploration of some of the Support Networks that surrounded bereaved mothers and then a discussion of best “Care Practices” that aim to strengthen these networks and provide support for the caregivers themselves.

  • A cross-cultural understanding of the Healing Power of Ritual. We delve into this broad topic by examining the power of everyday rituals as well as more formalized rituals that accompany death and grief in some religious contexts.

To Prepare for our Training:

I encourage all workshop participants to read An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken and Holding Space—On Loving, Dying, and Letting Ago by Amy Wright Glenn. This reading is Recommended, but not Required. Our workshop will utilize ideas and examples from these texts. FYI: I’m happy to suggest additional related titles, if you are already familiar with these works and would like to read another text.


Workshop Participants Receive:

After our work together, you will receive:

  • a Certificate of Completion that attests to your 5-hour training (sent via email)

  • a PDF document that includes the Resources and Quotations from the Workshop (sent via email)

  • Discounted Membership to the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death

  • Discounts on Offerings (classes, workshops, consultations) from Inviting Abundance

  • Access to a Facebook Group (with 350+ members) for Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss Past Participants (this will allow you to join conversations, share resources, and network with those who are engaged in this meaningful work)

**Regarding CEUs: Birth Arts International offers 5 CEUs to members who successfully complete this training. DONA certified doulas have used this training to receive 5 CEU recertification hours under the Alternative B-1 category. (The Institute is currently exploring additional CEU certifications for the Training.)

Workshop Logistics: Fee & Dates

Training Fee: $175*

*Please note that scholarships are available. Contact Joanne for details.

Trainings Schedule:

  • Joanne is working to arrange trainings for 2019 - if you would like her to schedule a training in your area, please contact her at: grow@invitingabundance.net

  • If you would like to stay updated about future trainings, please join the Inviting Abundance newsletter (which you can do on our HOME PAGE) and/or Follow Inviting Abundance on Facebook. You are also welcome to bookmark this page and check back later this year.