Soizig's Birth Doula Services During Public Safety Crisis
In the event of a public safety crisis, such as COVID19, I continue to be available and on standby for my clients' birthing journey (including throughout labor) to offer them the best support possible. This important work includes:
3 Prenatal Appointments: all prenatal appointments occurring while a "Shelter In Place" Order is in effect will occur remotely via video conferencing (such as FaceTime or Zoom).
On Call 24/7, including holidays, starting at 37 weeks through the birth of your baby (up to 42 weeks), as usual, including for weekly phone/email/video check-ins (and any additional desired check-ins / follow-ups) during that period
Early Labor: phone support, as usual
Active Labor support: You and I may be asymptomatic carriers of a life threatening infection/disease.
When you do not want to risk exposure: If you agree that to protect you and other expecting families from the risk of asymptomatic exposure to life threatening infection/disease, I should only be providing families remote support throughout labor, please let me know, and I will gladly offer you intermittent and/or continuous (as desired/appropriate) remote support throughout your entire labor, via phone or video.
When you are ok risking exposure: If you agree to accept the risk of exposing yourself to me as a possible asymptomatic carrier of life threatening infection/disease and would like me to offer you in-person support during active labor at home and, if allowed, at your birthing location, depending on current governmental orders and my personal risk assessment for myself, my family, my community, etc., I may be willing to assume the risk of exposing myself to expecting families who may be asymptomatic carriers of any life threatening infection/disease. If I am prohibited from providing in person support during your labor or do not feel that I can do so safely (for my own safety and/or that of my family, my community, etc.), you understand and accept that I will you offer you intermittent and/or continuous (as desired/appropriate) remote support throughout your entire labor, via phone or video.
Transfer to Hospital: If you have accepted the risk that I may be an asymptomatic carrier of a life threatening infection/disease and asked me to join you in person during active labor, unless increasing public safety threat warrants otherwise, and if mutually agreed, I can still plan to accompany you to the hospital to support that journey, especially if your partner may not pass the hospital's safety screening process. The most likely modified scenarios upon arrival at hospital during ordered hospital restrictions:
1 Support Person allowed, Partner passes screening: I will return home and remain available by phone or video continuously or intermittently (whichever is appropriate/desired) through 1 to 2 hours after the birth. (Note: With a video connection, I can provide you a deeper level of support on demand or on observance*, including witnessing and addressing things that you and/or your Partner may not realize are happening &/or can be supported.) I can keep an as active connection as possible/desired to support you through:
offering tips/suggestions &/or reminders for the
Birth Giver's activities/movements (such as Spinning Babies® techniques for space/balance/baby's descent), resting positions, breath support, body scan / softening guidance, nourishment/hydration, and/other things you might try to support labor progress and sensation management;
Partner including how s/he can participate in helping the Birth Giver with the aforementioned items, as well as offering the Partner encouragement, reassurance, perspective re: ways s/he is supporting the Birth Giver, and/or suggestions/reminders for the Partner's self-care/well-being;
providing emotional support, reassurance, fellowship to both of you;
helping you navigate any changes or interventions that your medical provider may propose, including but not limited to offering you follow-up questions, more info./context than they may not have mentioned, and if desired, possible physiologic alternatives or considerations which might be important to you;
observing (while connected through video) and taking notes of your labor process to help you reflect on your labor at a later date.
*NOTE: As far as acting on my observations during a video connection, I can model certain support (such as when and how we can supporting the Birth Giver with cleansing breaths, leading body scans, how to tone/vocalize with the Birth Giver, etc.) and/or send support suggestions via text to the Partner to minimize any unnecessary auditory/brain stimulation to the Girth Giver, as much as possible/desired, especially if not time-sensitive.
1 Support Person allowed, Partner does NOT pass screen (or is otherwise ill/unable to participate):
Ideally you would have another close friend or family member with whom you feel safe who could join you, in lieu of your original partner. I would then offer support to you, your remote partner, and your accompanying support person, as described above.
I would love to join you in the absence of your primary Partner, but that might not be feasible or responsible (from the safety standpoint of my other expecting clients, my newly postpartum clients, and my family). Depending on the status of my other clients, assessment of personal and public safety risk, and Orders from governmental authorities, I may be able to join the Birth Giver at the hospital to provide in-person support and facilitate Partner's video connection. While the restrictions are in place, I would likely not be permitted to call in a backup Doula to come and replace me at any point, so I would need to defer my joining you in the hospital until you are in active labor. (For example, if you were to have a 3-day induction, practically speaking, I would need not be able to stay with you for 3 consecutive days, especially since there is no need for in-person or continuous Doula support before labor starts and picks up.)
0 Support Person allowed: I offer remote support to Birth Giver and Partner (including coping with the challenge of not being physically present with the Birth Giver). (See above for support I can provide you remotely.)
Transfer to SF Birth Center: The SF Birth Center ("SFBC") will likely continue to allow 2 non-SFBC birth team members to accompany you so, assuming we both agree to take the risk that we may be exposing each other as asymptomatic carriers of a life threatening infection/disease, I would accompany you and stay with you at the birth center until 1 to 2 hours after the birth. Otherwise, see above for support I can provide you remotely.
Backup Doula: I will still offer a backup doula to provide any support that is permitted & desired if I am not available to support you during your labor. If I am unable to find an available Birth Doula who is willing to risk exposing themselves to you as possible asymptomatic carrier of a life threatening infection/disease, one will offer you remote support if I cannot.
1st visit is about check in, processing birth and things to date, offering resources/referrals, etc. and will be offered remotely by video.
2nd visit is partially or heavily focused on hands-onrecovery care support services for the Birth Giver, however, emotional support & resourcing (which can be provided remotely) are often important/desired during subsequent visits. I can also educate the Birth Giver around self-care (EFT, TRE®, Self-Breema®, self-massage, etc.) remotely by video, if those skills/practices appeal to the Birth Giver. If, however, the Birth Giver is interested in my hands-onrecovery care support services (such as belly binding, Breema Bodywork®, closing of the bones, etc.), we can postpone the 2nd visit until after the public safety threat has passed.
Any Subsequent Visits for Birth Giver &/or Partner re: recovery and well-being can also be handled as indicated under 2nd Postpartum visit, above.