No Foot Too Small Birthing + Bereavement Suite: A Sacred Space to Ease the Burden of Empty Arms
From great loss came the idea for a special place at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, East Rusholme Street.
Families who have suffered infant loss talk about their grief, the feeling of being alone and the feeling of not having enough time.
The No Foot Too Small Birth + Bereavement Suite at the Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport offers families suffering infant loss a beautiful, calming place to gather and share their grief.
Families who have the shared experience of suffering infant loss joined together with the Genesis Foundation and additional donors to make the project a reality.
Jess Buntemeyer, who volunteers at Genesis as a bereavement doula, or mentor, for those suffering such loss, wanted to honor the memory of her son, Brayden.
“I definitely look at this project as a way for Brayden to leave his mark,” said Jess Buntemeyer. “Once we got to the point where we were ready to make something good happen from our loss of Brayden, we had a birthing and bereavement suite at the top of our list. We knew at a personal level how valuable it would be.’’
The Genesis Foundation has collaborated with families and with the national organization, No Foot Too Small, to develop the suite at Genesis. The suite is a place where families experiencing infant loss are offered privacy, peace and a place for healing.
Birthing and bereavement suites are common outside the United States but there are few similar suites in the United States. The Genesis suite was one of the first in the U.S.
The No Foot Too Small Birth + Bereavement Suite has a labor and delivery room, a sitting area for family and friends, a kitchenette and bathroom.
Lyndsey Day, M.D., an OBGYN at The Group in Davenport, said the suite offers features that will bring comfort to families during a devastating time.
“The time following delivery is the only time these families have with their child,” said Dr. Day, who lost daughter, Ada Marie, in December, 2018. “It is so important for them to have time together. And to soak in every minute with their baby. Those are the only moments they will have in this lifetime.’’
The No Foot Too Small Birthing + Bereavement Suite is designed to serve and comfort families experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal and infant loss. The suite includes a labor and delivery room and a waiting area for family and friends, including a kitchenette and a spa-like bathroom. This is a private and comfortable suite where babies will be welcomed into the world and loved, and then families can say goodbye.
This initiative was led by Jess & Jenny Buntemeyer, Dr. Lyndsey & Kyle Day, and Dana & Dr. Mark Wilkinson.
"We are deeply humbled by this project that has come from the hearts of many shattered by the loss of their child, reaching out to touch the hearts of those who will someday walk this road and to help them carry the incredible weight that burdens empty arms." - Dr. Lyndsey Day
About the Project
This initiative raised over $200,000 in charitable support to match a $100,000 contribution from Genesis Medical Center, Davenport. These gifts built a sacred space to ease the burden of empty arms.
"The new Birthing + Bereavement Suite will help us continue our mission of providing compassionate and loving care for the infants and families we serve." - Kim Nimrick, BirthCenter Manager
About the BirthCenter
Our GMC-Davenport BirthCenter is the area’s only Baby-Friendly birth center, a designation recognizing maternity care best practices. Our highly skilled doctors, nurses and certified nurse midwives are dedicated to keeping mother and baby healthy and comfortable while they provide coordinated care.
The Davenport BirthCenter also has a dedicated perinatal safety nurse who ensures the highest levels of quality and safety for moms and babies.
Providers ensure that the birthing experience is tailored to each family’s wishes and offer the latest comforts for women during their labor.
About No Foot Too Small
No Foot Too Small (NFTS), founded by Robin & Ryan Boudreau, was inspired by the loss of their son Beau in 2013. Initially serving families in Iowa, NFTS is expanding nationwide.
Their mission is simple. NFTS will continue to celebrate angels and unite families while partnering with hospitals across the United States to build Birthing + Bereavement Suites for families who will not be taking their babies home.