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Doulas and COVID-19: Why it's still worth hiring a doula

Doula care might look different right now, but that doesn't mean you should fall through the cracks.



So, what is hiring a doula going to look like during a pandemic?

A doula is a part of the team that makes up your care providers during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, and therefore should be an essential service. We are facing uncertain and frequent changes in the world, this is a time when an informational and emotional anchor is most needed. It is concerning that most hospitals in Australia now have a 'one support person' policy that is leading to many doulas being turned away and unable to attend births. It's important to keep in mind that things are changing daily, and that even your care providers may provide conflicting information, information that could then change with no notice to you, or to them for that matter. There is much more to be written on this issue, but for the purposes of this blog I am focusing on the importance of going ahead with your plans of having a doula, especially during a pandemic.


It's a tough time for many people financially, and although I believe a doula is an investment in your whole self, your baby and your parenting future, I also understand that a doula may not be an option in a time when people are losing their jobs. Please reach out to your local doulas anyway! They may be able to provide a tailored payment plan, hardship discounts and/or other services to support you affordably.


So, why should I hire a doula if they cannot physically be at my birth?

Doulas offer a huge variety of options to make their care accessible for everyone's individual needs. Most doulas already offer stand alone prenatal and postnatal packages. These options of care can make a huge difference to your experience! Even if you or your doula need to self isolate, here are just a few of the amazing services doulas can still provide:


- Prenatal birth planning sessions and knowing your options

- Childbirth education

- Planning a homebirth if this is your choice

- Understanding the hospital system if this is your choice

- Guided relaxations and meditations

- Breastfeeding guidance

- Listening, emotional support and someone objective to talk to

- Information, research and evidence-based resources

- Helpful videos for optimal maternal positioning and virtual support with this

- Meals dropped off/outsourced for delivery

- Postnatal recovery tips

- Newborn sleep and emotional support with the fourth trimester

- Recommendations of relevant practitioners who have online options

- Adjusting to parenthood support

- So much more!


Most of all, your doula can still be your objective, loving go-to when you need somewhere to turn. Your doula can still listen. Your doula can still offer labour support remotely. Your doula can still help you decide where is best for you to birth and with which care providers. Your doula can still be there for you, on your team, aiming for the birth you want with you. Your doula can still hold your hand, yep I went there! Ok, so maybe the emoji hands. I am still working with women in person and taking all precautions to continue to do so, however, where they prefer I am working virtually and it's so much better than women not having the support at all, especially when other care providers are under strain. Please, if you were considering a doula, explore your options. As a community, doulas are concerned about women birthing in this current climate, we want to help. Reach out to us.


Claire Heenan

0413 416 210

claireheenandoula@outlook.com.au

@claireheenandoula





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