During a pandemic, it can be hard to think about adding yet another unknown to your birth story. If you are on the fence about adding a doula to your birth team, you may be asking yourself, “if I hire a doula, how can I know that they’ll be allowed at my birthing location?”
I won’t lie to you – you can’t know. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that a lot can change on a moment’s notice. But I don’t think that should stop you from working with a doula.
Here is what you are 100% guaranteed by investing in doula support, whether or not they can accompany you to your birth place:
– fact-based/evidence support answers to all your questions
– someone to listen to your concerns, without the pressure of their next appointment creeping up on them
– an experienced birth professional available to you by phone/text/or email 24 hours a day, while you wait for your baby to arrive
– assistance, ideas, and support for your birth partner
– in depth conversations around decision-making, both prenatally and in labor
And here is what you are guaranteed by hiring me, whether or not I’m in the room with you:
– some quality jokes
– at least one suggestion to turn on a Beyoncé song (could be more, if you receive the first one well)
– I do my best to make sure you and your partner drink a boat load of water. I recently had someone call me a “water pusher,” which I took as a compliment
– a cheerleader who is unequivocally supportive of your birth choices, whatever those choices may be, and will tell you so. More than once.
And all of this is if your doula can’t be with you! Imagine if we can: the laughter, the hip squeezes, the weird little dances I do when we get good news, the moments of connection, the support, the care, the person to order you an enormous breakfast as soon as your baby is earthside.
I think hiring a doula is still worth it – maybe even more so – during a pandemic. And if you take the chance on a doula, I have a feeling you will think so too.
As of the time of this post’s publication (10/27/2020) the following Portland area hospitals are allowing doulas on their labor and delivery units
Providence system hospitals: Providence Portland, St. Vincent’s, Willamette Falls, and Newberg
Legacy system hospitals: Legacy Emmanuel, Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Salmon Creek
Kaiser hospitals: Kaiser Sunnyside, Kaiser Westside