Doulas And Birthing Partners Are Being Banned From Hospital Birthing Rooms
“The New York City hospital network New York-Presbyterian on Monday instituted one of the most restrictive visitor policies in the country for women giving birth, barring spouses, partners and other family members or outside support people, such as doulas, from the delivery room — a rule it said would help protect mothers and children during the coronavirus outbreak.”
When hospitals become stricter and the birthing process becomes more fearful, many pregnant women are considering home births, or even birthing in a different state, at this time.
This visitor ban comes during World Doula Week, a time to celebrate doulas all over the world for “improving the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.”
It is difficult to labor alone…women crave support, a familiar face, a word of encouragement, from someone they love or trust. Nurses and doctors can’t be called upon to provide this type of consistent support to laboring moms, as they are busy attending to multiple people’s medical needs.
“According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, continuous one-to-one emotional support from someone like a doula or a relative is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits include a lower likelihood of cesarean section, increased patient satisfaction and a shorter duration of labor.”
“Jesse Pournaras, a doula based in New York City, created a petition asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to review the no-partners policy. The petition has received more than 200,000 signatures since it was launched.”
Options For Support Of Birthing Moms
Allowing doulas or a support person to video conference with a birthing mother, hardly elicits the same amount of comfort as a physical presence. However, some are opting for Virtual Doula Support in this time when technology steps in during cautionary social distancing for everyone’s health and safety.
When decisions need to be made in the birthing room, it is helpful to have someone who knows your birth plan and can speak up on your behalf. Having another person to remind you of the calm that centers you, is incredibly helpful to a mama’s peace of mind.
If your support is being limited in the birthing room, consider a Virtual Doula Consultation or Full Virtual Birth Support with organizations such as Doulas of Guiding Star Orange City.
Women should not be required to birth alone.
Fathers have a right to be with their spouse when their child is born.
Women should have the freedom to choose what is best for them during their birth process.
We all want to limit risk when data is so limited, however women still need support. We encourage pregnant moms to seek support where they can, and have a birth plan in place that makes them the most comfortable.
Keep in mind that birth rarely goes exactly according to plan, so it is best to go into birth with a flexible attitude while still being prepared. Childbirth is not something to be feared: it is a natural expression of life, which is something that should bring comfort and hope to all of us during this time.
(New York Times: Some Pregnant Women in New York City Will Have to Deliver Babies Alone