From Zoom antenatal sessions to FaceTiming from the delivery room to Postnatal support worldwide, the pandemic has changed how I and the rest of the doula community work with parents. However, what has not changed is making sure that parents feel fully supported on their journey through pregnancy and birth into early parenthood. We have always worked as a reassuring presence, helping parents gain confidence by having an empathetic ear and walking alongside their journey.
COVID-19- has meant that Doulas can not attend births in the majority of trusts across the UK. This has also impacted birth partners not being allowed in until established labour. This is starting to shift in some Hospital trusts but is very changeable which for new parents and quite understandably brings uncertainty, which of course, feeds mental and emotional anxiety.
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” Dr. John Kennell.
The vital work with is in the Antenatal, is where all manner of questions can be asked and parents can take time to explore and challenge thoughts and ideas; ‘no question is too small or silly’. We can prepare birth preferences, look at individual choices & birthrights, look at language and physically, emotionally and mentally prepare the body and mind for birth, as well as preparing the birthing partner.
For Postnatal, it is about emotional support; reassurance for new mothers and birth partners; this is always at the forefront, making sure you are helping build confidence that is normal to lack at the beginning of the journey. My Postnatal Doula role has adapted as I now have had to add remote support, which means I can support mothers and partners anywhere in the world and it also means I am advocating for shorter adhoc sessions. This results from mamas and partners not feeling supported or feeling like they are unclear of where to get information around essential issues such as breastfeeding, how to look after their C-section, baby care or feeling alone in Postnatal wards.
Mother & Bump is now offering adhoc Doula Support as a result of changing times. I am seeing it is making a difference to mothers and birth partners.
Client Testimonials for Remote Postnatal Doula Support
"Natelie, Thank you very very much for all of this!! your time, generosity" and care, you have no idea how supported I feel and how much this means to me! Carla- a new Mama from Sweden
'Natelie was a fundamental factor for us having a good birth experience. "Her good humour, knowledge and the relationship we were able to build with her before the event made everything a lot less daunting. Would absolutely recommend for anyone looking for a doula. Matt Ledge
I strongly feel that all mothers, birthing people and birthing partners need to invest in some support to understand the system they are entering.
Black Mothers Are Five Times More Likely To Die During Childbirth. That Needs To Change
Black women are five times more at risk, 3 x more for mixed women, 2 x more for Asian and we already have those stats.
We need to understand that the system is not working for all and just because those figures impact BAME, it does not mean it will not extend to impact all birthing people. It shows that their are real issues and a lack of empathy in our maternity system.
Doulas help you navigate the system you are entering, which is always better to do before, but don't be shy in reaching out to a Doula and engaging their service once you are in labour and need some emotional support or some practical information. The majority of us are birth justice advocates. We genuinely want to make birth better for all; this is a basic human right issue and this for many of us is our calling. We must remember that the system has now changed and we have to find the best way to help parents get the birth outcomes that are safe and right, so it impacts them positively.