When others doubted my suggestions, more are flocking to find a birth solution out of hospitals. COVID-19 is building panic in the birth world. Midwives are now overworked and birth centers at closing in on capacity. As policies change around support persons, doulas are left to wait in parking lots and support virtually if the partner is with the birthing person. I want to remember this time I was interviewed not even a month ago. Not as an "I told you so", but at how quickly views shifted.
We will get through this, but we will need to ensure that families get the healing they will need once it's all over. Planning for birth in this climate will be a challenge but not impossible. I'm teaching childbirth education classes now more than ever as parents are forced to become their own advocate. As well as their own comfort measure expert with guidance from virtual doulas, if applicable. There was a campaign some years ago called "take back birth".
This rings true to its core today!
Breastfeeding, postpartum care, anxiety and depression will all have new meaning during the pandemic. Different versions of the new normal with take place in parenthood. Lack of support should not be one of them. Creating a postpartum plan is CRITICAL, even if that support is virtual. Rethinking birth plans also means rethinking life after baby. There are many postpartum doulas, nannies and nurse aids who have redefined their support structure during these odd times. Reach out!
I'll end by wishing everyone beautiful birthing journeys in the new landscape of birth. Know that your rights can still be preserved and patient centered care can still be obtained. I do wonder if that doctor in the article above still thinks it's overkill to suggest different birth options now? In addition, the couple on the fence did switch to a birth center birth!
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Owner of Baby, Please Doula/Childbirth Educator/Doula Trainer