Are you a doula in the Southern NJ or Philadelphia Region? The doulas in my Birth Freely Doula Mentorship Program and birth workers in maternal rights groups have been chatting the past couple days about what public health officials might be deciding for doula support in the hospital setting amidst the COVID-19 cases that have been turning up in our region. I am happy to report that I have not heard about any local hospitals restricting doulas in the labor room as of yet but still I do believe this is coming. Please know that the organizations that govern hospitals typically stand on the side of doula support and not restricting laboring people's access to doulas, however hospitals have the rights to make up their own policies surrounding what they feel is best for public health.
Still, consumers have the right to advocate for doula presence.
Please see this statement from AWHONN on doula support during COVID-19 that was rebased on March 11, 2020. They are standing behind doulas. This document is that update that I am encouraging all doulas have on their persons when they are heading to a birth.
Thank you, AWHONN, for backing us! This truly is a big deal and we are grateful!
Doulas, if you do get stopped from entering or asked to leave the room, here are some pointers:
Birthing People - Make a plan with your doula! Role play it! Read the statement from AWHONN and remind yourselves why you hired your doula. If it makes you uncomfortable to advocate for your doula, know that she will do her best to be in that room but your rights are the rights that matter.
COVID19, pregnancy, south jersey doula, birth class, doulas in hospitals, virtua, labor and delivery, AWHONN, COVID-19 and pregnant, doula support during COVID19, inspira, Pennsylvania hospital, health concerns in pregnancy,
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!