Questions For a Doula During the Current Health Crisis

Momunity curated a list of commonly asked questions regarding giving birth during the current COVD-19 crisis. Bianca Paredes, certified childbirth doula, answered them for us. We hope they provide you some comfort during these challenging times.

What if I can’t have a doula at my birth? What are my options?
If you have been working with a Doula and they are no longer permitted to be with you at the hospital. you still have options! We can FaceTime and be with you virtually as well as be available for phone + text support throughout the duration of your laboring period. In the prenatal period, we will have worked with you and your spouse/partner so there is a connection made there and we are able to still work together as a team while you are in labor. With that said, hospitals in RI are still permitting Doulas in the laboring space so advocating for your support team and requesting our presence PRIOR to arriving to the hospital makes a big difference.

What if my partner can’t be there? How can I prepare?
In the event that your partner is unable to attend the birth with you, your options would be to opt out of a hospital birth and explore your other avenues (home birth) or remain in the care of your hospital and trust that you are being taken care of. You can also have your partner with you virtually, whether through FaceTime or being streamed in on a laptop. Again, advocating for this prior to arriving is always your best defense. Ask to have you both tested for COVID-19 and see if that is an option. If you find yourself preparing to birth without your partner, please reach out to a Doula and see if they are able to help navigate you through this. My inbox is always open – [email protected]

I am very anxious about my birth and postpartum without support. What support can I still access?
It is very understandable to be feeling anxious if you are preparing to labor and deliver during these times – please reach out for support. Even if right now that support is only virtual. Many Doulas are holding space for woman to process this time, we are just unable to be there in person. Remembering you are not alone and seeking support is ALWAYS an option, regardless of what barriers seem to be in place. In regards to the postpartum period, there are measures that can be taken in advance to help ease that transition and that is something that a Doula can help walk you through so you come home with baby to a home as prepared and supportive as possible.

How do I prevent anxiety and depression?
Anxiety is a natural feeling as we learn to navigate the world right now, acknowledge those feelings but know that they are temporary. Same with depression that may arise. Your greatest tool here though is support and that is ALWAYS available to you. Whether that is to simply talk, process or make a plan to try and move out of the anxiety + depression you are experiencing. We are here for you ❤️

Are you still providing in-home visits? If not, what are you doing instead?
Regarding in-home visits for me as a Childbirth Doula, I have moved over to virtual prenatal visits. In my experience so far they are just as effective in helping families preparing for the laboring + delivery period.

Do you provide childbirth Doula services for planned cesarean births?
I do provide Childbirth Doula services for planned cesarean births. At this time, it would be the decision of the provider whether or not we are allowed in the operating room but as a Doula, we support ALL paths to birth.

Are you seeing an increase in home births due to the current health crisis?
For me personally, I am having clients switching out of hospital settings and into home births – yes. This is a very personal decision but I have clients currently that I am supporting in the switch.

What industry shifts are you seeing during the current circumstances?
The biggest shift I am seeing currently is the response to parts of our country shutting partners and support people out of the birthing space. This has started a conversation about the importance and long term affects of being (or not being) supported through birth. We are living through a global health crisis that is admittedly hard to navigate and one that changes day by day but I am seeing a lot more attention be brought to the importance of feeling supported through what is for many, the biggest moment of their lives.

To any woman preparing to birth in this time, whether for the 1st or the 5th time – I see you, I see how stressful this time is to navigate but please know you are supported in the fullest capacity we as Doulas are able too. As I mentioned, my inbox is always open, always and especially now. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support. We are stronger, together. ❤️❤️

For more incredible blog posts delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter. Check out Flourish Care and new Virtual Bump Showers!