We are happy to offer this service to birthing families in SWFL and beyond as we face the uncertainties unique to birthing families amidst COVID-19. Distance Doula Care is offered by your individual doula as well as our doula agency owner.
There really is no substitute for in-person Doula Care, let's be clear. Our original Signature Doula Care packages include hands-on physical, emotional and mental support from your doula, and it's priceless.
Taking that into consideration, right now as a community we are faced with uncertainties unique to birthing families amidst COVID-19. Will our health systems continue to allow doulas into the hospital? We already know that NCH North Naples Hospital are only allowing one support person during labor and delivery. Will partners continue to be allowed into our area hospitals? What about if mom or partner shows signs of COVID-19? As an answer to these cries of uncertainty, Mindful Birth is offering Distance Doula Care, an alternative to our Signature Doula Care packages.
What can you expect from your Distance Doula?
With Distance Doula Care, we support you during your pregnancy and labor, from a distance. We are literally just a phone call away! Distance Doula Care includes prenatal consultation, emotional support and practical information via text, phone, email and videochat, as well as virtual support during your birth. We consult with you and your partner on issues that can arise during late pregnancy (sometimes earlier), and labor. This is where you benefit immeasurably from having a doula on your team.
Our role during your pregnancy is to help answer your questions, discuss your birth plans and preferences, and navigate the birth system. When you're not sure what to do, whose advice to take, what is normal or where to turn for information, we can help to guide you. We might talk about the current landscape of birth in our community amid COVID-19, or discuss your options if you are approaching or have passed your EDD; maybe you have questions about getting your baby into the best position for birth, or maybe you want to help your partner learn a few pointers before the big day. We can point you towards information and community resources, and so much more, as you define it.
As your doulas we are working for you, not for your caregiver or the hospital. This is a critical point, as you plan and prepare for your upcoming birth and form your birth team. We are on YOUR side, with no ties to a particular medical system or institution. We are hired to be emotionally present and available, to talk you through your contractions in real-time, and to help you navigate birth decisions as they arise during your labor.
What Does Distance Doula Care Actually Look Like DURING PREGNANCY?
So, what does Distance Doula Care actually look like? Distance Doula Care includes an initial phone or video interview where you’ll have the chance to ask questions, discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, birth preferences, and plan how we might best work together. We also schedule a more formal 37-week Prenatal Phone/Video Consultation to discuss your birth preferences in detail. You'll tell us your own personal ways of coping with pain, fatigue and difficult situations, and what internal resources we can draw upon to assist you with the birthing experience. You'll tell us how you and your partner foresee working together, and the roles of others who may be attending the birth. We can discuss together what fears and concerns you have regarding your birth. We can review your preferences regarding the use of pain medications and other medical support. When you think labor has begun we can help you determine what to do next.
You'll have unlimited text/email questions from your 36th week of pregnancy through your birth, and we encourage you to call/text/email with questions and updates after your provider appointments. We answer texts and emails within 24 hours (though typically much sooner; we'll discuss boundaries and expectations during our phone interview) and we encourage you to check in with us during late pregnancy to let us know how you’re doing and if there are any physical or emotional changes to explore.
If you are local to SWFL, you are invited and encouraged to attend the Birthing From Within group classes, facilitated by agency owner Christine Ghali as a supplemental resource to your Distance Doula Care. During this 4-week series you and your partner will learn directly from and with Christine. We find that this greatly increases the trust that is formed between us, and allows time for questions, answers, insights, and to speak the same “birth language” at the time of the birth. These classes are especially valuable to partners. Register for classes directly through the Mindful Birth website. Our next virtual class series begins in April 2020 with another starting in May 2020.
What Does Distance Doula Care Look Like DURING LABOR?
When you are in labor you'll get phone and text support from your Distance Doula. We can help your birth partner by offering ideas and suggestions via text or phone to help you with position changes, comfort measures, or any other questions that come up during your labor. We will consult with you as you navigate any medical support your provider suggests, or any other decisions that you are facing during your pregnancy or labor. We will offer help and advice with comfort measures such as guiding your breathing, encouraging movement, suggesting effective positions for labor progress, providing suggestions to your partner such as massage, counter-pressure for back labor, visualizations, and generally whatever the moment calls for. We can assist with gathering information about the progress of labor and help guide your questions to your care providers so you can make informed decisions about your birth. Our most critical role is providing calm, emotional reassurance and comfort. From a distance, we can help you draw on tools to stay calm and comfortable, and connect to your inner resources to have a more satisfying birth experience. Our role is to help you have a satisfying birth as you define it. If that means we are on Facetime for 12 hours with you during your entire labor at your birthplace, we are happy to support you in that way! If it means your partner has a trusted doula to consult with on the phone as your birth unfolds, we can support you in that way, too.
We provide support for ALL births, including planned and emergency cesarean births. In the event that your birth is an unexpected cesarean, or if in late pregnancy your birth requires a scheduled cesarean, we will continue to support your labor and birth. If the situation and time allows, we will provide a “Having a Cesarean in Awareness” phone session with you and your partner prior to the birth. We are be available to help you navigate the journey as you ask questions prior to the birth, and we’ll be available for phone support when you are out of the recovery room.
After your birth, we are available to answer questions and point you to local resources for additional assistance for the first two weeks of your postpartum recovery. We will provide information on breastfeeding, baby care tips, referrals to community resources, and a chance to discuss and process your birth experience.
This is what Distance Doula Care looks like, and so much more. Call our office to schedule your phone intake call to get started. 239-560-2403
Interested in booking the mindful birth doulas for your birth? Contact us here.
Our doula best,
The Mindful Birth Doula Team
Tara, Christine, Emily, Tanya and Rosy