The COVID-19 pandemic has modified so many elements of our lives. Some being impacted in additional vital methods than others.
However life goes on, and with that – the milestones and monumental adjustments which might be part of being alive.
For most individuals navigating being pregnant throughout this time, they could have had a a lot completely different expertise than what they envisioned for his or her being pregnant and delivery.
Child showers, delivery preferences, and postpartum plans could all have modified, however one factor has stayed the identical – their want for assist earlier than, throughout and after delivery.
What’s a Doula?
One of many largest methods a pregnant individual can discover assist is by hiring a doula.
A doula is a non-medical supplier that gives steady assist throughout labor and delivery, in addition to prenatal planning, and postpartum check-ins.
How this appears logistically will range from doula to doula, and from delivery to delivery, however a number of the instruments a doula makes use of to assist their purchasers are training, assist with a “delivery plan”, fingers on therapeutic massage and counterpressure methods to assist ease contractions, ensuring the birthing individual is hydrated, ensuring that any associate of member of the family current has eaten and gotten some sleep, and a lot extra.
COVID-19 and Doulas
As you’ll be able to think about, a extremely infectious virus complicates the extent to which a doula can present their providers.
The danger of contracting COVID-19 will increase with publicity, which suggests it’s as much as the purchasers and doulas how a lot time they need to spend in individual, if any. They’ll select to offer prenatal and postpartum care in individual, whereas just about supporting them in the course of the delivery itself, or vice versa.
Or their care is perhaps solely digital or over the cellphone.
Some doulas could select to solely present digital assist, as a result of they don’t need to doubtlessly expose themselves or their households
In The Hospital
In the US for instance, the place doulas are sometimes paid for out of pocket, and will not be affiliated with a hospital, they need to keep updated on quickly altering hospital insurance policies, which at the moment are limiting the quantity of individuals they’ll have current at a delivery.
Sure hospitals will not be permitting any individuals outdoors of the birthing individual, whereas some will enable one assist individual, which is often their associate if they’ve one.
Fortunately for his or her purchasers, a number of the key traits that make for a great doula is resourcefulness, creativity, and flexibility!
If a doula is allowed into the hospital with a consumer, they should put on a masks the entire time, and should not have the ability to depart the room, which limits their potential to get further provides. Additionally they could not have the ability to deliver their “doula bag” filled with instruments and tips in – like delivery balls and important oils, which suggests they’ll have to make use of what they’ve bought.
One choice for hospitals who will not be permitting doulas in, is for the doula to stick with their consumer(s) within the hospital parking zone, providing their assist till the final minute, when the consumer then goes into the hospital.
That is solely an choice for many who are low threat, and don’t plan on having an epidural, cesarean part, or different process that will necessitate them being admitted earlier on in labor.
Clearly there are numerous instruments a doula can not make the most of just about, however that doesn’t imply they aren’t an extremely useful a part of an individual’s delivery staff. For doulas supporting their purchasers just about, they’re nonetheless capable of discuss their associate by hands-on methods, discuss purchasers by contractions, and supply advocacy and training.
After all not everybody offers delivery in a hospital. Increasingly persons are choosing house births amidst COVID-19. On this case, it’s as much as the consumer, midwife, doula, and native laws on whether or not or not a doula could be current in the course of the delivery.
My Expertise with Digital Doula Help
Whereas I’ve for probably the most half taken a sabbatical from doula work because the begin of COVID-19, I’ve had one consumer that I supported solely just about.
I imagine one of many largest roles of a doula is to “maintain house”, that means creating an environment the place the consumer feels seen, heard, and supported. For a talented supplier, that is solely potential over the cellphone, even when it’s not the identical.
Within the case of this consumer, that meant being up by the evening, speaking her by contractions, utilizing respiratory methods, visualizations, and affirmations as she progressed by labor – a lot as I might in individual.
As soon as she was admitted to the hospital, I used to be capable of reply her questions on procedures, dangers, and selections that her suppliers weren’t giving her sufficient data on.
I defined to her what her choices have been when sudden conditions arose, and the right way to talk along with her suppliers in order that she nonetheless felt empowered throughout her delivery.
Each birthing individual deserves to have the assist they need for his or her delivery expertise. Hiring a doula, even when it’s digital, will assist them navigate the delivery journey with the regular basis of somebody who’s there solely to take care of them and their wants.