“Continuous support during labour may improve outcomes for women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labour, and decreased caesarean birth, instrumental vaginal birth, use of any analgesia, use of regional analgesia, low five-minute Apgar score and negative feelings about childbirth experiences.”(2017, Bohren et al. ” Continuous support for women during childbirth.” 2017. At this time, it is our position that doulas should continue to be permitted into the birth room as an essential component of the patient’s well-being and care, and it’s our hope that any hospital visitor restrictions will exclude doulas.” ~DONA international website

“I always look at situations as binary. Problem or no problem” Dr. Morrison said to me as we cared for a newborn. The little smoosh had a difficult time breathing at first, this is common, and the care team had to offer some support.

“Babies need oxygen.” As she lovingly danced some CO2 infant of the babies nose. He was cooing and delighted to be with his family, breathing wonderfully, and all was well.

That mini interaction impacted my world in ways I could have never anticipated, more on that another time, and it laid the groundwork for my plan when attending as a doula during COVID-19. I started by tackling this gargantuan topic like Dr.Morrison would, in a binary way.

Therefore, here’s my current approach.

What do I know?

  • Doula support helps improve labor outcomes for women and families.
  • The CDC regularly updates us on ways to stay safe. I follow those guidelines closely for myself, my family and for my clients (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html)
  • COVID-19 is a strain of the influenza virus with no available vaccine.
  • Breastfeeding helps with babies immunity. I encourage moms to embark on this rewarding yet difficult journey more now than in the past.
  • Vaginal delivery and breast feeding greatly improves the gut health and immunity of babies by passing moms microbial environment.
  • While I wear a mask and practice safe guidelines, my comprehensive support model has not changed.

What am I doing?

  • Regular screening through Kaleida Health. I opt of the viral test as opposed to the antibodies as it fits the nature of my work best.
  • Staying superhero healthy as best I can. If I didn’t eat a lot of leafy greens before you bet your kale I am now!
  • Offering families remote support visits with the addition of a third visit closer to babies due date. It’s just nice to be face to face before the big day! I’ve found it to be a great bonding experience for myself and families as well!
  • As a DONA doula I follow their guidelines. Here is a link to see how we’ve been addressing the situation in the community with continued commitment to excellence. https://www.dona.org/covid-19-and-doulas/
  • With a global and communal commitment to wellness and taking care of each other I believe we will see this through! I’ll continue to update here as I find more information. Thank you again for trusting me with the incredible chapter of your lives.

Sending love and light to you and your growing family,
Malissa

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