Little Miracles Foundation


of all confirmed pregnancies ends in pregnancy loss1

23 million

miscarriages occur every year1


pregnancies are lost worldwide every minute1


couples has to deal with one or more losses1

Little Miracles Foundation

Funding scientific research aimed to deepen our understanding and ultimately prevent pregnancy loss


Loss and Grief

For most women and their partners, pregnancy loss is the loss of a baby and the hope and plans invested in this child. Feelings of loss and grief can create a personal sense of failure in women and their partners.2

Unknown Diagnosis

In the current healthcare system, the loss of pregnancy is rarely thoroughly investigated. Because of this, uncertainty about the diagnosis creates anxiety in couples with a desire for children. Most parents decline the option of an autopsy after pregnancy loss due to the invasive nature of this procedure.3 Even if they want this, it is not always feasible in small fetuses. The Little Miracles Foundation aims to make genetic diagnostics and high-quality fetal scans available to all parents who desire further investigation into the cause of their pregnancy loss.

Little Miracles

Since 2017, Dutch parents experiencing pregnancy termination, premature birth, or ectopic pregnancy have the option to donate the fetus to the Dutch Fetal Biobank for scientific research.4 Parents selflessly and anonymously donating their most precious gift, a deceased child, to science. This makes every donation a ‘Little Miracle’. The Little Miracles Foundation was founded by scientists and operates in close collaboration with the Dutch Fetal Biobank.

Scientific Research

The Little Miracles Foundation is committed to making scientific research on conception, placenta formation, early embryology, and fetal imaging, such as 3D-ultrasound5 and Micro-CT imaging,6,7 more broadly applicable and clinically relevant. This includes, for example, the automatic recognition of congenital abnormalities during a pregnancy ultrasound, or a virtual autopsy of a deceased fetus,7 to non-invasively establish a diagnosis.

Your financial donation will be fully dedicated to scientific research, funding young researchers, purchasing lab materials and diagnostic tools, or acquiring high-quality scanning equipment.

ANBI status

The Little Miracles Foundation has acquired ANBI status (Algemeen nut beogende instellingen). This means that all donations are guaranteed to benefit the public good, such as scientific research in our case. The board members meet the strict integrity requirements that are mandatory in an ANBI foundation. An ANBI foundation does not pay inheritance tax or gift tax on inheritances and donations. Donors to an ANBI can deduct their donations from their income or corporate tax (click here for more info in Dutch).


The Little Miracles Foundation is an independent legal entity. This means that, although most of the research takes place at Amsterdam UMC, the Little Miracles Foundation is not directly affiliated with Amsterdam UMC.

The foundation has a four-member Board of Directors:

Chair:                                                  Bernadette de Bakker, MD, PhD

Secretary:                                           Madeleine de Bakker

Treasurer:                                          Daniël Docter, MD, PhD candidate

General Board Member:                 Yousif Dawood, MD, PhD candidate


Contact:     +31 6 50063079

Articles of incorporation

Board Members

Bernadette de Bakker, MD, PhD – Chair

During the founding of the Little Miracles Foundation, I was pregnant with my fourth child. Having three healthy children, I have also experienced three miscarriages unfortunately. As a physician-embryologist, scientific researcher, and founder of the Dutch Fetal Biobank, separating professional and personal life in these instances can be challenging. To cope with my miscarriages, I chose to use my experiences professionally.

Our aim at the foundation is to give pregnancy loss the attention it deserves, both scientifically and clinically, and in spoken and written words. As a mother, I understand the uncertainties about repeated miscarriages. Could it have been my workload? My diet? What are the odds of miscarriage in my next pregnancy? Through the Little Miracles Foundation, I hope to elevate miscarriage research on the scientific agenda, offering parents the chance to further investigate their lost pregnancies.

As Dutch researchers with liberal laws and ethics we are in the unique position to make a significant scientific contribution towards the prevention of pregnancy loss. Donors can be assured that 100% of their financial contributions will directly fund researchers. Thanks to your support, we aim to sustainably finance the Dutch Fetal Biobank and eventually establish a Fetal Imaging Center for the clinical evaluation of miscarriages and still births.

Madeleine de Bakker, Business Coach – Secretary

I take great pride in serving as the Secretary of the Little Miracles Foundation. My primary focus is to provide support to the board, actively participating in and facilitating all future activities geared towards fundraising and advancing our noble cause.

My professional background, characterized by a strategic perspective and extensive project management experience, plays a pivotal role in steering the foundation towards the fulfillment of its mission. Additionally, my proficiency in business development serves for engaging with corporate partners, fostering collaborations, and maximizing networking opportunities to secure essential support for our initiatives.

In my capacity as a CliftonStrengths® Coach, I am committed to empower all researchers affiliated to the Little Miracles Foundation to unlock their full potential. This involves providing guidance, mentorship, and resources to facilitate personal and professional growth, ensuring they become instrumental in the foundation’s success.

On a personal note, the impact of a miscarriage is a reality I have faced firsthand. My own experience has fueled the commitment to the cause. I owe my twin boys to the strides made in scientific research on embryos – true ‘Little Miracles’ in every sense. This intimate connection serves as a drive behind my dedication to the Little Miracles Foundation.

My overarching goal is to help the foundation grow on a global scale. Together, we aim to prevent as many miscarriages as possible.

Daniël Docter, MD, PhD Candidate – Treasurer

My name is Daniël Docter, and I passionately serve as the Treasurer of the Little Miracles Foundation. As a physician and researcher, I am committed to improving health through quality care and research. This commitment extends beyond my professional responsibilities into a deeply personal realm.

My experiences as a physician have transformed my involvement in miscarriage prevention into more than a scientific ambition; it’s become a personal mission. The quest for understanding the causes of miscarriages and developing preventive measures is not just a scientific challenge for me, but a goal to prevent this heartache. As a researcher, I understand the challenges of conducting research without adequate resources.

In my role as Treasurer, I ensure not just the financial health of the foundation but also catalyze research that is scientifically rigorous and personally meaningful. Together with my dedicated fellow board members and team, we strive to understand and act. Your support contributes to our research and the hope we hold for a world where miscarriages can be prevented. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Yousif Dawood, MD, PhD Candidate – General Board Member

As a co-founder of the Little Miracles Foundation, I combine my passion for gynecology with a commitment to learn more about the early stages of pregnancy. As an aspiring gynecologist and researcher, my focus is on understanding how babies develop in the womb and investigating the causes of early miscarriages.

My PhD research seeks answers that are significant for science and can make a real difference for future parents and their caregivers. This work is both a professional mission and deeply personal. As a father of a two-year-old and expecting another, I know the wonder and challenges of conception.

At Little Miracles, our aim is to support research on the onset and prevention of miscarriages by collaborating with experts and raising funds. Each day brings new opportunities, and I am committed to continuing this vital work with my colleagues. Together, we hope to provide new insights into the early stages of pregnancy, contributing to a safer and healthier start for parents and their children. Will you join us in this meaningful journey?


  1. Quenby S, Gallos ID, Dhillon-Smith RK et al. Miscarriage matters: the epidemiological, physical, psychological, and economic costs of early pregnancy loss. Lancet. 2021 May 1;397(10285):1658-1667. DOI
  2. ESHRE Guideline Group, ESHRE guideline: recurrent pregnancy loss: an update in 2022. Hum Reprod Open. 2023 Mar 2;2023(1):hoad002. DOI
  3. Lewis C, Simcock IC, Arthurs OJ. Improving uptake of perinatal autopsy. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Apr 1;33(2):129-134. DOI
  4. Dawood Y, Buijtendijk MFJ, Bohly D, Docter D, Pajkrt E, Oostra RJ, Hennekam RC, van den Hoff MJB, de Bakker BS. Human embryonic and foetal biobanking: A framework for standardisation of procedures. Dev Cell. 2023 Dec 18;58(24):2826-2835. DOI
  5. Dawood Y, Buijtendijk MFJ, Shah H, Smit JA, Jacobs K, Hagoort J, Oostra RJ, Bourne T, van den Hoff MJB, de Bakker BS. Imaging fetal anatomy; Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Nov; 131:78-92. DOI
  6. Dawood Y, de Bakker BS. Micro-CT of early human development; Radiology. 2020 Oct;297(1):32. DOI
  7. Docter D, Dawood Y, Jacobs K, Hagoort J, Oostra RJ, van den Hoff MJB, Arthurs OJ, de Bakker BS. Microfocus computed tomography for fetal postmortem imaging: an overview; Pediatr Radiol. 2023 Apr;53(4):632-639. DOI