Milk Bank Bereavement Tree with Babies names on leaves

We honor the babies whose milk was donated with a garden memory wall leaf

Tending to our broken hearts

Feelings regarding lactation after a loss vary from mother to mother. Some feel that the milk they produce was meant only for their baby, or that thinking about pumping is just too much when they are already going through a difficult time. Others, like Val, (see below) want to donate to a milk bank. There is no right or wrong decision.

Val Lee, a bereaved mother, describes the loss of her baby and one of those unexpected decisions she made afterwards:

   Our son, Ashton, was born at 29 weeks with several complications. While being amazed by our little fighter in the NICU, I was fortunate to pump and freeze every drop of milk. The NICU staff explained breast milk was medicine that no synthetic drug could ever replace. We were hopeful for the day Ashton would be stable enough to have breast milk for food; however, he only received two teaspoons before he became our Angel Baby. Donating my breast milk has been a bright, positive light in our bereavement journey knowing other NICU families may spend an extra hour, day or lifetime with their baby.     

We’ve put together a helpful booklet for bereaved families. An extensive resource list is available – see support information below.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you want to talk through your decision or need further support. We are here for you.

For additional information please contact info@midatlanticmilkbank.org or call 412-281-4400, ext. 103

flowers painted on a wall

Ashton’s Garden: honoring our first bereavement donation

Video Resource – Breast care after loss

Grief Resources and Support Groups

Grief resources and support groups

Lactation After Loss Bereavement Support Group

Hope Logghe, IBCLC, LMT is a lactation consultant and bereavement support group facilitator who offers an ongoing monthly virtual support group for bereaved families navigating the experiences of grieving, parenting, lactating, and living after losing a baby.

Open to families and support people who have experienced pregnancy loss, a stillbirth, or an infant loss.

Please contact Hope at hope.ibclc@gmail.com to find out more information.


 

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Bereaved Parents’ Support Group

Hosted by the Supportive Care Department of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, this is a group for bereaved families who have been part of the hospital.

Location: The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center, 5324 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Contact: Melanie Szigethy, Coordinator Support Care Team at melanie.szigethy@upmc.edu or 412-748-1596


 

Healing Hearts Infant Bereavement Resources

Through support and other resource materials, the Healing Hearts Infant Bereavement Resources program, an initiative of Cribs for Kids®, assists families who have been touched by a crisis in pregnancy or the death of a baby.

Location: Cribs for Kids, 5450 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207

Contact: healinghearts@cribsforkids.org


 

Highmark Caring Place – A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and their Families

The Highmark Caring Place – A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and their Families, is a safe place where grieving children and families can come together and be with others who understand what they are going through.

Locations:
Pittsburgh:
620 Stanwix Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Cranberry: 200 Warrendale Village Drive, Warrendale, PA 15086
Erie: Bayview Office Park, Building 2, 510 Cranberry Street, Erie, PA 16507
Harrisburg: 3 Walnut Street, Suite 200, Lemoyne, PA 17043

Contact: 
Pittsburgh: 888-224-4673
Warrendale/Cranberry: 888-734-4073
Erie: 866-212-4673
Harrisburg: 866-613-4673


 

Star Legacy Foundation

A non-profit organization that strives to increase awareness, support research, promote education, and encourage advocacy and family support regarding stillbirth, pregnancy loss, and neonatal death.

Contact: 952-715-7731

starlegacyfoundation.org


 

“Helping Grieving Hearts Heal” Mondays Moments Luncheons

Helping Grieving Hearts Heal was designed to provide services that support individuals as they grieve. In conjunction with Koch Funeral Home, this program is offered by Jackie Naginey Hook, M.A., a certified spiritual director and Life-Cycle Celebrant.

Meeting virtually

Contact: Jackie@JackieHook.com or kochfuneralhome.com


 

Share of Lancaster

Early/late loss support group and pregnancy after loss support group

For all family members experiencing an early pregnancy loss. And for those experiencing late pregnancy/early infant loss through stillbirth, premature or full-term infant death, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Contact: shareoflancservices@gmail.com


 

COPE Foundation

COPE is a nonprofit grief and healing organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child.  They offer regular healing workshops:

copefoundation.org/upcomingevents
copefoundation.org/grief-resources

Contact: COPEline 516-364-2673

copefoundation.org


 

National Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support

This organization offer grief support packets and group support. English and Spanish available.

Contact: 800-821-681910

nationalshare.org


 

MISS Foundation HOPE Mentor Program

The MISS Foundation provides a service where bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings can be matched with a trained HOPE mentor—who is also a bereaved parent, grandparent, and sibling—who will either connect via email, phone, or Skype if not local to you or in-person, if possible.

Contact: info@missfoundation.org


 

Christian based organizations

 

Still Remembered/Still Supported (Pittsburgh)

Provides bereaved parents and families Christian-based support and encouragement for a loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.  This is a peer-based support group that meets monthly.

Contact: stillsupported@stillremembered.org or 412-447-8455


 

Angel Talk Support Group (West Virginia)

This is a virtual support group page on Facebook found under NOAH Child Loss Support Group.

Angel Talk offers child loss support group meetings to families in West Virginia. Child loss includes miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant death, as well as the loss of a child at any age. We welcome anyone affected by child loss, from parents to siblings to grandparents and friends. Children are welcome at our meetings. Though this may seem counterproductive, it is important that children affected by child loss also have a place to grieve and to witness how healthy grieving occurs. We are Christian-based and believe that faith in God is part of healthy grieving.

Contact: 304-716-6681

Early support for infant loss

Early support for infant loss

Oli’s Angels – bereavement doulas

Birth and bereavement doulas provide free bereavement doula services to mothers experiencing loss in any trimester; support before, during and after birth.

p: 412-616-9579 – call or text
e: OlisAngels.douLas@protonmail.com


 

Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas

The mission of Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas is to support birthing persons and their loved ones who are experiencing this loss by providing compassionate guidance through the process of birth.

Contact: Director, Heather Bradley at 412-901-9568

pittsburghbereavementdoulas.com


 

Stillbirthday – bereavement doulas

Website for locating bereavement doulas and bereavement resources. Support for birth prior to, during, and after birth in any trimester. Resources include birth plans, information on what to expect, and ways to connect to both local and online support.

Stillbirthday.com/find-doula/  (look up doulas by your state)


 

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – photography

Aims to offer every family experiencing the death of a baby the healing power of remembrance.

nowilaymedowntosleep.org


 

The Cuddle Cot

A Device That Gives Parents of Stillborn Babies Time to Say Goodbye

This is a chilled cot that helps preserve the body of a deceased newborn for days, allowing parents to hold them and take photos.

Please talk with your birth facility or physician if you have interest in the Cuddle Cot.


 

NICU Helping Hands – The Angel Gown Program

This Angel Gown® Program provides comfort for bereaved families through the gift of a beautiful custom made gown for final photos and for burial services.

nicuhelpinghands.org


 

The Natural Funeral Company (Pittsburgh)

Independent licensed funeral directors specializing in green funerals, home funerals, and cremation services.

Kristin Hauman
p: 412-716-4435
e: kristin@naturalfuneralcompany.com


 

Koch Funeral Home (State College, PA)

Jackie Naginey Hook – Spiritual Director, Celebrant, End-of-Life Doula
p: 814-237-2712
e: admin@kochfuneralhome.com


 

Celebrant Services (Pittsburgh) – nondenominational

To help your family create a memorial ritual and to lead a celebration service.

Karen Bernard
p: 412-482-7524
e: kbsweethome@gmail.com


 

Molly’s Bears

Weighted teddy bears for families coping with infant loss.

Best way to reach us is a direct message through Facebook.

facebook.com/MollyBearsOrg

mollybears.org