Women are innovating to deliver pregnancy, birthing, and parenting support during challenging times.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore, MD, July 13, 2020 – In response to the health crisis we find ourselves in today, hospitals across the globe have scrambled to make adjustments to their policies in the name of safety and efficiency.
In a dramatic shift to labor and delivery units across the US, restrictions often include limiting who can be in the room to accompany birthing.
Many pregnant people’s dream birth team includes not only their partner, but other family members, friends, and their Doula — trained birth-workers who support pregnancy and birth.
Now, most people are being forced to choose just a single support person.
Despite no longer being allowed to physically accompany hospital births, some Doulas in Baltimore, Maryland are finding a way.
“What I do is so personal,” explains Cara Crowe, a Doula who has supported over 650 birthing families in the mid-Atlantic area.
“It is hard to lose the in-person aspect. But there’s still so much I can do. We now focus a lot more on preparing the couple ahead of time. And in teaching the partner how to fill the physical aspect of the role”, says Cara.
Virtual Doulas provide virtual birth planning and education sessions, and ongoing support through text, video, and phone to navigate both physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery.
Anna Chu, a 36-year-old Mom from Alexandria, and a Doula client of Cara’s, was set to give birth to her second baby at Virginia Hospital Center.
“It was tough to imagine how the hands-on experience from my first birth would translate to remote support for baby #2”, Anna shared.
“Cara kept in touch across the pregnancy to chat about how I was feeling and what to expect, and when the time came, her voice helped fill the room with calm.” Anna was pleased she had Doula support, albeit virtual.
“She coached my husband through support techniques, helped us parse the information coming in from the medical team, suggested techniques to make labor more productive, and generally integrated herself into the experience in a way I could not have anticipated.”
“I am so glad that we kept Cara’s support part of our plan. She was just as critical as she was in person for birth #1”, Anna shared, relieved.
Doulas are rooted in deep traditions of wise women assisting during birth. Their methods often include physical massage and pressure points, using birth balls and other tools, aromatherapy, and emotional support through mantras, reassurance, and normalization in each step of labor.
Statistics on the effectiveness as evidence for Doulas support to improve the birth experience are prevalent, as compiled by Evidence Based Birth.
These benefits include labors 40 minutes shorter than average, 10% less use of pain meditation, and reduced caesarean surgeries by 25-38%.
There are also powerful subjective measures of birth experience satisfaction, up 31%, which is linked with a better postpartum experience.
Women can find more information about Doulas, plus free Virtual Support Groups and information resources, as well as Birthing and Parenting Classes, Prenatal Yoga, Mental Health, and more for Moms at https://www.wombroom.mom/virtual-doulas.
Cara Crowe and The Womb Room can be reached at: [email protected] or 410-450-4600.
Photo of Anna Chu, Mom who used Virtual Doula: https://bit.ly/2OeX6qC