Why Hire a Doula During COVID-19?
"Why should I hire a doula if hospital regulations won't allow the doula in the birthing room when I'm in labour?" This is a question that has been coming up a lot lately from expectant parents, and rightfully so. Parents who would have eagerly researched, met with, and booked a doula to support them during the birth of their baby are now questioning if they should hire a doula at all during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families are being more conscious about spending money and considering if hiring a doula is "worth it". I can completely understand these thoughts and concerns.
Let's be real, there is a lot to be concerned about these days and many of us have a lot more on our plates than usual. Perhaps your kids aren't able to return to school as planned, perhaps you and your partner are both working from home (that's a lot of together time!), maybe you're both working from home AND looking after your kids, or maybe this is your first child and there is a global pandemic, and you're just SCARED or NERVOUS. All of these are completely normal and to be expected!
To support you through your pregnancy and to relieve some of the added stress and anxiety that seems to have taken up residence in our lives lately, here are a few reasons why you should still consider hiring a doula. Doulas can...
- Offer birth education in physiology of birth, stages of labour, and what to expect
- Teach your partner how they can support you during labour
- Answer questions about options available to you during labour and birth
- Listen to your concerns, answer questions, and support your choices
- Offer virtual support during pregnancy, labour, and postpartum
- Review different labor positions
- Review comfort measures
- Provide emotional support during pregnancy
- Review common hospital interventions or protocols
- Give space for you to decide and think through your preferences
- Offer dedicated time to think through your birth - perfect for busier than normal parents
- Care for you and your baby
Arguably, birth preparation is even MORE important during these COVID times. I believe it is important for birthing families to know what options are available to them so they can best prepare in advance and have time to decide how they feel about those options. Your doula can prepare you and your partner with what to expect giving birth during COVID. This will likely look different from past birth experiences.
Your doula can review what giving birth during COVID can look like, what options may be offered to you, and give you time and space to think through these options. Your doula can then either offer different perspectives, explain the risks involved, or answer any questions so you can make an informed choice before you are labouring. Doulas also help prepare your partner by teaching different labouring positions, breathing techniques, and comfort measures. Once you have made your decision, your doula will support you in whatever decision you make, having full confidence in your ability to decide what is best for you and your family.
If there's one thing I know, it's that doulas are flexible! We can handle what you throw at us and we're pretty darn good at providing virtual support if we can't be with you in person! This means you still benefit from having a doula, the birth preparation, labor support, and often even postnatal care too. This can be particularly useful for helping to establish breastfeeding. Some doulas even offer discounts for "virtual only" doula support which can save you money from what you would have paid to have an in-person doula. Not only does this make financial sense for you, but also offers income for your doula who still needs to sustain their livelihood.
Remove some of that stress, anxiety, and unpredictability and let your doula support you. Let your doula listen to your concerns, fears, worries and provide support how you need it best. You're carrying your baby, let your doula help carry you during this wonderfully exciting (and nerve wracking!) time.
With love and best wishes to you and your family -