Picking the topic for this blog was hard. I was and am so ready to be beyond the COVID-19 crisis and so desperately wanted to write about anything else. But it has affected every aspect of our lives and it is not going away any time soon. And when I write to you all I want it to be always heartfelt, deep, and meaningful.
The biggest burden on my heart is Hospitals unethical and not evidence based practices of barring Doulas from supporting their clients in person. Or worse, making mother’s choose between their doulas and their spouses or partners.
These practices are not evidence based as I have laid out in my COVID-19 Information page.
The AWHONN states that doulas should not be considered as visitors but as essential aspects of the maternity care team. And that is backed by the evidence. Doulas are statistically proven to shorten labors, raise APGAR scores, reduce C-sections, and reduce the use to interventions.
So now the question is what can we do to make sure that Maternity care does not suffer needlessly under this current crisis? To make sure that one of our most vulnerable citizens, expecting mothers, are not placed in additional risk.?
- Sign petitions: There are many petitions circulating. I have signed and shared every one that has come through my timeline, even for states that I do not live in. They all need to consider changing their policies. Here is one to start.
- Send letters or e-mails to your Governors and Mayors and their wives: I recently drafted a letter to a local hospital board of directors. But I realized that this issue is so important that it needed to be above the hospitals. So I reached out today to our Governor, the Honorable Greg Abbott and His wife Mrs. Abbott. Here is a link to that letter. I encourage you to use it as a format and make your own. If you have suggestions for changes I encourage you to contact me and I will take it under advisement.
- Pray: This coupled with action is the most important thing you can do! Pray for our leaders and the directors of hospitals. The people with the direct power to make policy changes. Pray that they will listen to the evidence.
- Reach out to the doulas in your life: They are likely weary. I have had a front row seat through doula support groups online to see how much this has torn at the heart of every single doula. And every single expecting mother. I have experienced the heartbreak myself. Here is a video I posted while sitting helpless in a parking lot praying and hoping for a client who I was not “allowed” to support in person.
Thank you for all you do. I am continually blessed and humbled by the support of you all. I look forward to sharing the victory of doulas being in their rightful place again, on the front lines supporting the clients we care for so much.