Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss


All are welcome.

Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss trainings are specifically geared for birth/postpartum doulas, bereavement doulas, mental health professionals, midwives, religious/spiritual leaders, OBGYNs, prenatal yoga teachers, bereaved parent activists, and end-of-life care professionals.


This is the finest continuing education class I have ever taken. I learned so much about the topic, about myself, and my story as the mother of an infant who died at nine-days-old.  Amy has a lovely manner of teaching. She is able to gently approach a very tough topic and make it so palatable.  I can truly say I think I now know how to hold space in a way that I never knew before. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
~ Linda Reilly Blue, birth doula, Connecticut

Student midwives at Birthwise Midwifery School value and appreciate Amy’s grounding and open presence, her wealth of knowledge, and the care and safety with which she holds space for conversations around pregnancy loss.  We in the Academic Department are honored to welcome here as an elective instructor, and we see the deep value of her heart-offering to our classes of future midwives.  I encourage you to study with Amy whenever you have the chance!
~Abby Hall Luca, MA, CPM, NHCM, Academic Dean of Faculty at Birthwise Midwifery School

Amy’s training is fantastic, and many of our conference attendees said it was their favorite part of their experience!  She approaches these difficult and emotional topics with amazing grace and confidence.  Amy’s teaching style is so engaging, and she steadfastly guided us on such a beautiful journey over the short course of time we had with her (and we all wished we had more!).
~Margo Blackstone, Indie Birth Association

Read more testimonials

Over 900 birth and mental health professionals have taken this course, created by Amy Wright Glenn and launched in 2016.

This 15-hour, self-guided, online course has inspired the creation of 5-hour in-person trainings, an advanced 5-hour training, and Teacher Trainings for those interested in working with Amy to offer up this work to their communities.

Participants who register for this foundational 15-hour self paced, online experience will be guided through five 2-hour recorded modules of study. Reading, writing, and personal reflection are central to preparing for each of the five modules. There are two writing assignments integrated into this training. While earning a certificate of completion for this training is optional ~ participants who plan to do so are given 3-months to complete the training once their registration is confirmed. 

All participants are required to read Holding Space — On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn and  Ghostbelly by Elizabeth Heineman. To receive a certificate of completion, participants must view the provided recordings as well as successfully turn in both writing assignments.

Both books are available on Amazon and one can also purchase them directly from their publishers: Holding Space through Parallax Press and Ghostbelly through Feminist Press.

There are three components to our study:

1. An introduction to Holding Space and the Companioning Model of Care outlined by Alan Wolfelt, Founder and Director of the Center for Loss & Life Transition.  Holding Space and Companioning are responses to bereavement care that emphasize the need for mourners to be supported, listened to, and held in compassionate presence. Both of these models of care are centered upon a respect for the experience of grieving and challenge our culture’s death phobia as well as the common “fix it,” “return to normal,” “don’t talk about it,” attitude with regard to loss.

2. An exploration of best care practices with regard to the various support networks surrounding bereaved parents. These care practices focus on strengthening circles of support found in family, employment, work, places of worship, and hospital/birth center settings.

3. A cross-cultural understanding of the healing power of ritual found in both religious and secular settings. Participants will study how various world religions approach death/dying in terms of perinatal loss both in terms of theology and mourning practices. Emphasis is also placed upon the crafting of personal rituals both within and without traditional religious/spiritual frameworks.

To learn more about these three components of care, read Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss: 3 components for doulas to consider published in PhillyVoice.

Live Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss trainings

Live trainings are taught in-person or online by inspiring/skillful Institute teachers and Institute founder Amy Wright Glenn. Institute teachers compassionately and wisely prepare participants to more confidently and clearly hold space for one of life’s most painful and devastating losses.


Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss
5-hour Online Workshop
$90 USD
*Scholarships available

Participants register individually with the teacher that is teaching their chosen workshop based upon the calendar below. Currently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the course is taught online only by Institute teachers in accordance to the calendar listed below.

January 2021

January 23 and 30 ~ Join Institute teacher Joanne Zerdy, for a 5-hour, online Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss training.
The five-hour training will be split into two sections. 1:30 to 3pm EST.
To register, contact Joanne: grow@invitingabundance.net

February 2021

February 19th and 26th ~ Join Institute teacher Joanne Zerdy, for a 5-hour, online Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss training. The five-hour training will be split into two sections. 9:00 to 11:30am EST.
To register, contact Joanne: grow@invitingabundance.net




Jae Carey trained with New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and worked as a hospice volunteer and vigil attendant for the imminently dying with Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Interested in social justice, Jae also founded an award-winning doula program for women incarcerated on Rikers Island. She received her full-spectrum doula training with Ancient Song Doula Services, and then went on to become certified with Stillbirthday and The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death, as a Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss Teacher. Jae was adopted and grew up in Oregon. She now lives in Brooklyn with her son. greenwood.doula@gmail.com







Dani LaVoire is a Homebirth Midwife, Home Funeral Educator, Homesteader, and Community Builder. As an energetic public speaker, Dani easefully connects with groups to deepen awareness of what is most needed during times of loss. She is passionate about helping families through the challenging transitions of birth and death. Her work is to help grow strong communities by supporting folks to be there for each other during vulnerable transitions. Dani serves on the Board of Directors of the National Home Funeral Alliance developing programs to ensure that people everywhere know their rights when it comes to after death care. Through her work with the NHFA, Dani has gained a strong knowledge of the laws around the country and is eager to help communities understand how to guarantee families experiencing loss have access to satisfying experiences of grief. danijoelle@yahoo.com

Camille Hawkins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice specializing in Reproductive & Perinatal Mental Health. She began her career on the OB floor where she supported families in times of miscarriage, stillbirth, placing for adoption, and infant death. After a personal struggle with infertility and miscarriage, Camille founded the Utah Infertility Resource Center, a nonprofit organization which provides emotional support and education to thousands of families wishing and struggling to grow. In addition to supporting clients through professional counseling, Camille has spent years volunteering for local grief support organizations such as The Sharing Place and Share Parents of Utah. She is actively involved in research, advocacy endeavors, and serves on a number of community boards. Camille enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters who joined their family through open adoption. She became a teacher for The Institute in honor of her daughter, Everly, who came from a surprise pregnancy after nine years of infertility, and died in utero at 31 weeks gestation. camillehawkinscounseling@gmail.com


Dawn Welburn is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister, a clinical/intuitive massage therapist, a full-spectrum doula, and a creatrix of jewelry, poetry, and art. She has recently relocated to Austin, Texas to pursue graduate studies at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. Through The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death, Dawn is a certified teacher of the courses Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss, and Loving, Dying, & Letting Go, as well as a certified facilitator of Pregnancy Loss Support Groups. Dawn lives a seeker’s journey that involves reawakening, rediscovering, and reconnecting to herself and the world. Helping others during their own self-discovery, holding space for each individual wherever they are right now, with all of the tools she is learning along her own path, is her Ministry and Service. Learn more. 

Emily Gold holds a Masters of Public Health and is a Doula and Yoga Therapist. She has worked in the field of maternal and women’s health for over a decades in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia. As a doula Emily has supported family through births as well as the loss of pregnancies. As a Yoga Therapist Emily works with clients on a variety of women’s health issues, including prenatal and postnatal anxiety and depression, birth trauma and fertility issues. Since utilizing yoga and meditation as part of her own healing following a miscarriage, she is committed to teaching others the healing capacities of mind-body work for pregnancy and loss. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Spiritual Mind Body Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College and plans on incorporating this education into her current work.

Joanne Zerdy, PhD is a former university professor in theatre arts, Joanne brings her experience as an educator, researcher, and grieving parent to her work at Inviting Abundance, co-created by Joanne and her husband Will Daddario (Listen to their Circle of Care webinar HERE).  In addition to teaching Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss trainings, Joanne facilitates an online Grief Mapping course, a Grief Pen Pal Project, and Creative Grief Workshops. She also utilizes her communication, writing, editing, and curriculum-design skills as an education consultant. As part of her personal grief work since the death of her baby boy Finlay, Joanne studies permaculture design and herbal medicine; she makes herb-infused honeys and herbal tea blends for Finlay’s Garden. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with Finlay’s younger brothers, Phalen and Ren, and, when time allows, drinking a quiet cup of tea.  grow@invitingabundance.net






Birth Arts International offers 5 CEUs to members who successfully complete both the in-person and online training. Many DONA certified doulas who attend Institute-sponsored in-person trainings have successfully received 5 CEU recertification hours under the Alternative B-1 category. Contact Amy for more information about CEUs.

For those who have purchased the Positive Parenting Premium e-course bundle sale, click here