Updated: Nov 9, 2020
In today's current healthcare climate, hospitals and birth places have implemented certain rules and restrictions in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As you are starting your search for a doula, you might be wondering whether your doula will be allowed in the setting where you plan to birth your baby.
It is important to note that doulas are NOT visitors, they are essential members of your care and support team. Doulas provide comfort measures, education and guidance, as well as emotional support during labor and childbirth and studies have shown that the continuous support of a doula can be a factor in improving outcomes for birthing persons and newborns.
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetrical and Neonatal (AWHONN) recently released a statement addressing doulas and COVID-19:
"AWHONN recognizes that doula services contribute to the woman’s preparation for and support during childbirth and opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula during a woman’s active labor.
“Doulas are not visitors and should not be blocked from caring for patients in the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum period. Most doulas have been contracted by patients weeks to months ahead of time and have established provider relationships. They are recognized by AWHONN and ACOG as essential personnel and part of the maternity care team,” said AWHONN member Nancy Travis, MS, BSN, RN, BC, CPN, CBC, Florida Section Chair.
AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women. AWHONN opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infectious disease outbreak.”
At this point in time, doulas are permitted in all freestanding birth centers and home birth settings. Some hospitals and hospital-owned birth centers are stipulating that doulas be certified in order to be present during labor and childbirth. Queen City BirthWork doulas all hold various certifications and documentation for these certifications can be provided for hospitals and birthing centers that require it. In addition, we are in the process of curating our own doula certification that would meet the standards of these hospitals and birthing centers.
In the event that we are not able to physically attend your birth due to hospital or birthing center restrictions, we will support you remotely. Remote support has been integrated into our practice since March 2020 so we have become quite proficient in providing this type of support! If this becomes necessary, there will be a reduction in our fee.
No matter what the situation when you go into labor, your doula will be there to support and guide you!