COVID-19 - A Letter From Your Doulas
Natural Baby Doulas understands that COVID-19 is affecting the world in a unique way, and therefore we are actively learning more to keep ourselves and clients healthy. There have been some changes in the past week due to COVID-19 as it relates to our work. We wanted to share some of the information with our clients and assure you we are working hard to continue supporting you during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum time.
Currently, doulas are being permitted to attend births at all of our local area hospitals. All of the Doulas with Natural Baby Doulas are certified and our certifying organization has put out recommendations that we are asked to follow while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place. We worked very hard over the last week to advocate for our clients to allow us to be in all area hospitals! We appreciate all of our clients who made calls and helped doulas continue to be recognized as a member of your care team. There are still some changes in effect so please contact us if you’d like to know what to expect when you arrive at your specific birth location.
For the health of our doulas and our clients, we have rearranged our on call schedule. We are trying to keep our clients as updated as possible on these changes. As always, please get in touch with us if you have any questions about our on call schedules. We are still 100% committed to provide doula support to our families.
We will be adhering to the recommendations from our certifying organization (DONA International) to keep us all prepared. We will be using appropriate infection control protocols that are also being implemented at your birth locations. We have learned about the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and when to use those resources. We are working hard to ensure we have reliable and healthy back-up doulas to support our families if we are unable to do so (due to sickness or other concern). We will also be adhering to our Client Agreement and continue to assess what is best for our doulas and clients.
Our Client Agreement states that “If, for some emergency reason, (eg. illness, accident, family issues, etc) the on-call doula is not able to attend your birth and a back-up is not available, you will be fully refunded.” We will not attend a birth or meet with clients if we are feeling ill in any way. We are working with some other area doulas that we have worked with in the past to support each other if this situation occurs. However, since the health of our clients are of the upmost importance, we will not allow a doula with signs of illness to attend a birth. If that happens, we will offer our clients a full refund.
If there is a change to the policies implemented in our area hospitals and doulas are not able to attend births in person there, we are working on options to provide to our clients for continuing doula support. If this situation arises, we are happy to talk through the options with you. However, we are very hopeful things will not change and we will continue to advocate for our clients.
We want to encourage our clients, partners, and families to take time to work on relaxation and techniques to reduce anxiety during this time. Anxiety may be high and adrenaline levels may interact with labor and new parenting. Please encourage your family and friends to help you create a loving, peaceful environment despite this stress. Please get in touch with us if the stress becomes overwhelming, or if you just need to talk about your concerns. This might be a time to try some of the labor techniques for comfort and relaxation that you are planning to use in labor. Some other things that might be helpful to focus on:
- Getting good, restful sleep (contact us if you are having trouble and hopefully we can give you some recommendations) - Eating a healthy balanced diet - Continue to stay active - Practice meditation or other mindfulness and/or spiritual practices for your mental health. - Work to boost your immune system and avoid getting sick
Finally, we wanted to offer our clients the option of virtual meetings to avoid any additional exposure. Currently, we are still happy to offer the in-person meeting as we have always done. However, we understand concerns during this time and we can do a virtual meeting (Skype, FaceTime, or Facebook video call, or Google Duo). If you have an already scheduled meeting, please let us know if you’d like to do a virtual meeting instead. As we are setting up meetings over the next weeks, we will offer this option as well.
Please get in touch with us if you have any further questions or concerns. We want you to feel safe and supported during this time.
Sarah, Jessica, Christina, Kristian, and Betsy