March 16, 2020
How the Coronavirus Can Affect Having a Doula During Birth
By: Cara Terreri | 0 Comments
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly changing the landscape of the United States and the world in order to stop the spread of the virus, things that were once permitted in hospitals are now being severely restricted. Unfortunately, this includes the presence of a doula during birth.
It has been reported that some hospitals are restricting a laboring person to one support person during labor and birth. This means you would have to choose between your birth support partner, whether it be spouse, significant other, family member, or friend, and your doula. Of course, most people would understandably prefer their support person.
This said, not all hospitals are limiting the presence of a doula. If you have hired, or are considering hiring, a doula, and want to know if there are current limitation policies in place due to COVID-19, call your hospital's labor and delivery unit to find out. If your hospital does not currently have a restriction policy in place, understand that it's possible it could change as the status of the virus changes.
In response to reports of and future possibility of doulas being limited access to laboring families in hospitals, DONA International, the largest doula certifying organization, released helpful information for doulas and families. First, they have provided key information for doulas on staying healthy and preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Second, they have issued a letter for families to use with their hospital administrator that talks about the importance of doulas as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), both of which support admitting doulas into hospitals with families in labor and birth.
It's important to talk with your doula leading up to your birth to discuss the what ifs and back-up plans. This could look like receiving extra at-home support from your doula until it's time to go to your hospital; virtual/online/phone support during labor and birth; extra training for your support person; or extra postpartum support in exchange for lost labor support.
For more information, review DONA's information and continue to check updated guidelines from the CDC and your health care providers.
TagsBirth Doula Support Coronavirus Special Considerations