I feel that it is important to tell you how I am keeping my clients safe during this pandemic.
In my last blog post I talked about all the benefits to virtual doula care, in case your birthing location is not allowing doula on site. If your hospital or birth center does allow doula support, however, you may be wondering about the safety around asking someone who attends multiple births a month to support you.
I want to address what I am doing, as a private labor doula, to keep my clients and myself safe and healthy.
To start, here are some truths about me and my life in the pandemic: I am a 31-year-old healthy woman, with no additional risk factor for COVID 19. I am not immunocompromised, and I do not have any underlying health conditions. I am based in Portland, OR and am available to attend births as far North as Salmon Creek, WA and as far South as Oregon City/Molalla, OR.
My pod includes myself, my husband (Mr. Doula Olivia), my parents (who are both in an at-risk age group), and a single family I provide in-home childcare for. My nanny family does not have anyone else in their pod, and neither do my parents.
Below are procedures for keeping my clients safe.
Prenatally, I am offering meetings virtually, or masked. The preference for in-person meetings is always outdoors, but I am realist about Oregon weather. If we need to move our meeting indoors, we will sit at least 6 feet apart and we will all be masked, the whole time.
While on call, I will take my temperature daily in order to have an accurate baseline. I will prioritize my own immune system, by taking daily supplements, contrast showers, and following all recommended protocols when it comes to hand washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing.
While you are laboring at the hospital, I will wear a mask the whole time. I will bring my own snacks and water bottle, which I will keep separate from yours. If you are in the hospital, I will use the hand sanitizer outside your door upon every entrance and exit. If you are at home, I will wash my hands regularly. I will only offer you single use items from my doula bag, which have not been used before (clean cotton swabs with essential oils on them, brand new hair ties or headbands).
When I get home from a birth, I will wash all my clothes, wipe down my bag and all my equipment, and shower to prepare for my next client.
Postpartum, I will be available to work within your house, with a mask on. I will wash my hands thoroughly upon arrival and again before helping feed you or your baby.
I am taking your health and safety very seriously. I take the health and safety of my parents and the children I care for very seriously. If you feel similarly, perhaps we will be a good fit to work together to welcome your baby earth side.