We are almost a year into this pandemic and while we are all getting used to “new normals”, wearing masks, Zoom meetings and hangouts, getting tested, keeping our circle extremely small - something that hasn’t changed is Doula Support. Sure it may “look” a little different, but the unwavering support has not changed.
Maybe your friend had a Doula, or your care provider spoke to you about the benefits of a Doula? (Check out our blog Do Doulas Do That to get a better idea of what exactly Doulas Do!)
But what does a Doula do or look like in a pandemic? And what the heck is Virtual Doula Support?
Virtual Doula Support is exactly like regular Birth (and Postpartum) Doula support, but you guessed it...VIRTUAL! Typically we have a consultation with potential clients in person, but in COVID land we meet our potential clients via a Zoom complimentary consultation. Here is where we get to know one another, answer any questions you may have, and explain what support could look like in these times.
Signing on as a client with us means we are “on call” for you 24/7. This doesn’t change with virtual support! We are 100% available to you at any time, any day of the week via phone call, text, email, carrier pigeon. (Cue Carol King “You’ve Got a Friend”) This is the same whether we are working in person or virtually.
What may look a little different is a prenatal visit. Typically, prenatal visits are 2 hour visits in your home where we go over your birth plan, answer questions, go over Postpartum plans, help with nursery setup, create birth art, and more. With Virtual Support, depending on the comfort levels of both client and Doula, proper testing ahead of time and with COVID protocols, these prenatal visits can still be held in person! If it doesn’t feel right to have the prenatal visit at home we can accommodate and have this meeting via Zoom, Facetime, Googlemeet, whatever your virtual preference may be.
What if where you are planning to give birth is not allowing your Doula to be with you? What if you are having a homebirth, but numbers are spiking and you don’t feel comfortable having more than just your midwife and your partner with you? This is where Virtual Doula Support shines. We don’t need to be in the same room as you to provide you with evidence based, non judgemental, compassionate care.
We go over all the possibilities during your prenatal visits. When we are hired we always say we are not only a Doula for the birthing person, but also for the Birth Partner. We provide your birth partner with hands on tools they can use for your comfort, go over what to bring to the hospital, verbal affirmations, breathing and meditations, any and all comfort measures that can be done in person by the partner. The beautiful thing about using technology to our advantage is that we are simply a call, text, FaceTime away! We’ve had clients FaceTime us the entire time as if we were there in person. Some clients call us when they have questions or if they need to talk things through. As Doulas we never want our clients to think that they NEED us in order to birth. Read that again. You do not need your Doula to birth your child. YOU are the only person who can bring life into this world. In person or virtually a Doula’s role is to simply support, empower, and mirror your own strength. The virtual platform has been a beautiful way to exercise that very ability of supporting someone in a way that they feel empowered to make their own choices, to feel powerful, and to make educated decisions. So while we may not be able to be in the room with you, we are still VERY much with you, every step of the way, as much as you need us.
The last leg of the Birth Doula Support journey that we want to talk about here is the Postpartum follow up visit. This also can be done in person at your home with the appropriate COVID protocols, however many clients have opted to have this visit to be virtually on Zoom or any other virtual platform. In this visit we can process your birth, answer any questions, help with a Postpartum plan, self care ideas, help with babywearing or feeding schedules, and maybe even discuss the ideas of having a Postpartum Doula.
Everything that we would do in person is accessible to do virtually in the postpartum follow up.
Being with people virtually is 100% not the same as being in person supporting birthing folks and their families. During this pandemic we really had to adjust our own expectations and mourn the lack of in person that we as Doulas love and crave. However, we are so honored and blessed that we are still able to support people on their journey into parenthood. This is sacred heart work that we take with the highest honor and no pandemic can take that away from you and from us!
If you have any questions regarding Virtual Doula, Birth Doula and / or Postpartum Doula Support please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to schedule a complimentary consultation with any of our doulas for you.
Stay tuned for another post about Postpartum Doula Support during a Pandemic and what that could mean for you and your family!
Stay safe and savor the sweet.
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