Over the course of the last year, the entire world has found itself pivoting and adapting to a place where nearly anything imaginable is available in virtual form. This is true for doulas and the support we offer as well. Many of us worked through a bit of a bumpy transition time as we navigated virtual platforms and put new systems in place allowing us to continue to make doula support accessible to expecting parents.
But for the most part, the actual work of a doula has not changed.
Providing unbiased, customized support to families throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum still looks much the same:
Support in pregnancy & prenatal preparation:
With a little creativity, prenatal meetings are just as effective when held virtually. You can meet with your doula to discuss your pregnancy & your birth preferences, receive current evidence-based information to aid you in your decision making, and prepare for a smooth transition into parenthood all via video call. In a virtual prenatal visit your doula can even guide you and your partner through hands-on tools & techniques to use for comfort in labor, ensuring that you are well prepared and confident going into your birth experience.
Someone in your corner throughout labor:
While your doula may not be able to physically join you at your birth location, virtual labor support is very beneficial. Your doula can be accessible via video, phone and text to help answer questions, talk you through the labor process, discuss your options and support you in advocating for yourself. Virtually, your doula is still able to make suggestions and offer insight regarding comfort measures, labor positions and questions to consider asking your care team as your birth unfolds. Also, you might consider having your doula join you to offer hands-on support while laboring at home prior to heading to your birthing place.
Laying the foundation for a smooth transition into parenthood:
Helping you prepare for life with your new baby is a huge part of what your doula has to offer. And this can certainly still take place in a virtual setting. Before you ever even go into labor, you can discuss with your doula the logistics of living with a newborn – sleeping arrangements, feeding your baby, newborn care, meals for yourself and the rest of your household. Creating a solid postpartum care plan for the whole family can be accomplished through a video call or two with your doula.
Information & encouragement is just a call away:
Unlimited phone, text, and email support is still a part of the package! One great benefit of working with a doula is the peace of mind achieved through simply knowing that you have someone to call (or text or email). Questions about what to pack in your birth bag? Call your doula. Questions about which childbirth class to take? Definitely call your doula. Questions about what to expect in pregnancy, birth, the newborn days? Yep, you can call your doula. This aspect of doula support hasn’t changed one bit.
Suggesting helpful resources customized to your specific needs:
With in-depth knowledge of the resources and services available in your area, working with a local doula is like having a personalized directory at your fingertips. Your doula can make suggestions and recommendations about various services, care providers, products and resources that may be helpful to you along your pregnancy and parenting journey – and they likely know which of these are available virtually, too!